Tesla adds a new magic spell: Summon your car

Tesla control
A Tesla Model S owner issues a command using the key fob to have the car back itself out of the garage. (Credit: James Majerus vis YouTube)

Over the weekend, Tesla car owners picked up a new superpower: A feature called Summon can command the Model S or Model X car to drive itself for parking or pickup.

It’s part of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s drive to make the company’s automobiles fully autonomous within the next couple of years.

“In two years, you’ll be able to summon your car from across the country,” Musk told reporters during a Sunday conference call. “If your car is in New York and you are in Los Angeles, it will find its way to you.”

We’re not there yet, though. The current version of Summon is set up so that the car learns how to open the garage door and back itself out to where you want to get in. Or put itself back in the garage when you issue the command.

The latest update, version 7.1, also lets you issue a command with your smartphone or key fob to have the car drive itself into a tight parking spot after you get out, or pull itself out before you get in.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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