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Tesla Smart Summons Feature Presents Safety Issues

December 20, 2019

Tesla has a new feature on certain vehicles that all drivers should be aware of.  Called Smart Summon, drivers can summon their car to pick them up in a parking lot with an app on their cell phone. The app remotely directs the car to move out of the parking spot and drive to where the driver is located to pick them up. If this feature becomes widely used, there are more chances for accidents to occur.

Regulation of Summon Feature

Although the feature is relatively new, Tesla claimed that the feature has been used over 550,000 times. In Tesla’s home state of California, a spokesperson for the motor vehicle regulation agency stated that the feature did not constitute automated driving and therefore, no special permissions needed to be given.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet issued regulations regarding self-driving vehicles, but it stated that if there are any safety problems, it will not hesitate to initiate a recall. Currently, the NHTSA has only issued voluntary guidelines for manufactures to consider when developing self-driving technology. Although this may allow more exploration of driving features, it may also create a window for more accidents associated with new technology, since regulation is currently minimal.

The Summons Feature

Tesla stated that owners are required to monitor their vehicles while the Summon feature is in use and they were instructed by the company to be ready to stop the vehicle remotely at any time by either pressing their key fob or pulling the door handle. Although many vehicle owners praised the feature on social media, a few posted videos of their cars getting into minor scrapes with other cars or having near misses with other cars and pedestrians while the Summon feature was in operation.

It is unclear how the feature will respond to sudden movements by people or children in parking lots. Pedestrians and drivers in parking lots should be extra vigilant if they spot a person who appears to be summoning their Tesla via the app in case the car does not move as pedestrians and other drivers would normally expect.

Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Victims Injured in Car Accidents

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident as a result of a self-driving feature, the Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help. We will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries so you can focus on your recovery. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland. For a free consultation, call us at 856-414-0010 or submit an online inquiry form.

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