Tesla vehicles come with a “Summon” capability that allows customers to have their car autonomously pull up to them in a parking lot. But Tesla-owner D. Shawn Kennedy has figured out an incredibly clever way to repurpose the feature to even lazier ends: helping him dodge parking tickets. We’re impressed, and, frankly, even a little ashamed we didn’t think of this sooner.
This all went down in downtown Janeville, Wisconsin — where Kennedy’s office is based — and which recently began enforcing two-hour parking limits. This created a bit of a headache for Kennedy who parks in front of his office, before he eventually realized that his Autopilot feature gave him a workaround. On Wednesday, he tweeted a video of his Tesla remotely backing up into an open parking spot. To avoid having to move his car back and every couple of hours he used the Tesla smartphone app from his office window to do it for him.
“I was not sure when I would use this feature… till today,” wrote Kennedy. “City started enforcing 2-hour parking. So now I move my care every 2 hours…From my office!”
His tweet quickly garnered more than 39,000 likes and 7,000 retweets roughly four hours after he had posted it. It gained so much viral attention that Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the video his seal of approval by first responding with “Cool haha” and then teasing updates to the Summon feature that are coming soon.
The autonomous maneuvering capability was first introduced in 2015, but by 2019 it’ll see some major improvements. Musk revealed that Tesla vehicles will be able to autonomously cruise around a parking lot, read parking signs, and park itself.
This comes days after Musk teased that the Summon upgrade will make use of the car’s Autopilot cameras to improve what it’s capable of.
The standard Summon is available in Tesla Model S, X, and 3 vehicles and it’s offered as part of the “enhanced Autopilot” package that costs an additional $5,000 at the time of purchase or $6,000 as a retroactive upgrade.