Fully autonomous driving may still be in its infancy, but semi-autonomous driving is already saving passengers time and money. One example might be Tesla Autopilot’s Summon feature, which is supposed to make it possible for you to summon your Tesla from its garage using a smartphone app, though at least one Tesla owner had bigger aspirations for the software upgrade.
D. Shawn Kennedy, a Tesla driver in Janeville, Wisconsin tweeted a viral video of him using the electric vehicle’s “Summon” feature to help him dodge parking tickets. Kennedy, who works in an office that offers him a vantage point on building’s adjacent parking, demonstrated how Summon could be used to essentially move between two two-hour parking spots, thus eliminating the need for him to step outside and move his car himself.
This is #19 on Inverse’s list of the 20 Ways A.I. Became More Human in 2018.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded on social media to Kennedy’s tweets about the footage and a day later teased that his EVs are on track to become even smarter. Before 2018 is up, Summon will let Tesla vehicles autonomously drive to the owner’s location and follow them around “like a pet,” tweeted Musk.
All of this will be controllable via the Tesla smartphone app, which Musk said would make his cars a lot “like big RC cars” if the owner maintains a line of sight.
While fully autonomous cars are still a ways away, it’s small features like this that remind us that revolutionary technological breakthroughs are seldom the work of a single company or entity. To really see what new tech might be capable of, you have to get it into the hands of curious customers who are willing to test its limits.