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Tesla’s Smart Summon parking feature has been used over a million times

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Smart Summon will get smarter with time, the company says

Photo by Sean O’Kane / The Verge

Smart Summon, the autonomous parking feature rolled out by Tesla in mid-September, has already been used “over one million times,” the company said in its quarterly earnings statement Wednesday.

The feature enables a Tesla vehicle to leave a parking space and navigate around obstacles to its owner. Tesla owners who purchased the Full Self-Driving option on their car received it as part of the version 10 software update that went out on September 26th. Using just the Tesla app on your smartphone, you can “summon” your car to you from a maximum distance of 200 feet, as long as the car is within your line of sight.

There were some hiccups, though, with some users posting videos on Twitter and YouTube of near crashes or confused, slow-moving vehicles. One Tesla owner tweeted about “front bumper damage,” while another claimed their Model 3 “ran into the side of [a] garage.” A video of a near collision with a speeding SUV left the owner feeling their test of Smart Summon “didn’t go so well.” Another Tesla was filmed seemingly confused by pedestrians and other cars as it tried to make its way across a Walmart parking lot.

But the company says it expects to roll out over-the-air software updates in the future that may address some of these snags.

“Our neural network learning approach enables us to continue to iterate and improve functionality over time,” Tesla says.

Update October 23rd, 7:29PM ET: In a call with investors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company would be releasing an improved version of Smart Summon in the coming weeks. Tesla’s “massive fleet” of vehicles “allows us to check these corner cases and learn from them and use them to learn and become rapidly better,” Musk said.