Tesla Auto Park

You Park Your Tesla Model S, Return And It's Underneath a Tractor: Is Tesla Responsible?

A Tesla owner Jared Overton of Utah parked his Tesla Model S on the side of the road only to return to the car several minutes later to find it sitting underneath a tractor trailer.
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Overton told a local news TV station that he exited his car, spoke to someone outside his vehicle who had inquired about the Tesla (a common occurrence among Tesla drivers). Then went on his way to perform some errands . Overton finished and returned to his car about 5 minutes later to find his car sitting underneath the back of a tractor trailer with a smashed windscreen and hundreds of dollars in damages. Overton reported the damages to Tesla describing the vehicle as “Rogue”.

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The issue with driving a high tech car such as the Tesla Model S or X is that you are in essence driving a large computer around. Much like your home or mobile computer there are logs that can be used for diagnostic purposes. Tesla pulled those logs and determined that Overton used the Automatic Summon feature by double tapping the park button.

"The vehicle logs confirm that the automatic Summon feature was initiated by a double-press of the gear selector stalk button, shifting from Drive to Park and requesting Summon activation. The driver was alerted of the Summon activation with an audible chime and a pop-up message on the center touchscreen display.

At this time, the driver had the opportunity to cancel the action by pressing CANCEL on the center touchscreen display; however, the CANCEL button was not clicked by the driver.
In the next second, the brake pedal was released and two seconds later, the driver exited the vehicle. Three seconds after that, the driver's door was closed, and another three seconds later, Summon activated pursuant to the driver's double-press activation request.

Approximately five minutes, sixteen seconds after Summon activated, the vehicle's driver's-side front door was opened again."

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Overton disputes the findings saying he simply put the Tesla in Park and exited the vehicle, and the Tesla did not move while he was answering questions.

Tesla further points out that the summon feature is in Beta and should not be used on public streets and should be monitored at all times. The Summon feature uses the parking sensors located in the bumpers to determine if it is safe to move forward. This feature is turned off by default and has to be turned on by the owner who is then prompted with several warning screens about the use of summon. Recently Consumer Reports made comments about the summon feature and the risk of using it unattended. Tesla took those comments and updated the software and added an extra setting if you wanted to use the summon feature unattended.

This is simply a lesson in always reading the fine print. If you are unfamiliar with a feature of any device and you have the option to turn it off you should do so until you become familiar with how it functions. Practice in a driveway or safe location before turning on the feature.

Do you think Tesla or the owner is responsible for this accident?


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Comments

What happened...
I think it is still Tesla's responsibility and here's why. In summon mode, bumper sensors should be enabled by default. Even if it was in an attended mode, if the car can't figure out that there's an object in front of it and is about to hit something, or will still be too late for you to intervene. Who designed this summon mode line this?
Surya, the part of the article you are questioning wasn't very clear. I am a Tesla owner and here is what the author meant by the function being disabled by default - that is referring to the summon feature in general. It is disabled until you go in the settings and agree to turn it on as a beta. The sensors are never turned off or ignored. Hope that clears it up, I'd say Tesla isn't at fault
I'm questioning why the bumper sensors have to be enables separately when enabling the summon feature. The bumper sensors should be enabled by default when enabling the summon feature. Any one would expect that to be the case. I understand what Tesla said in their claim and as a systems designer myself, I know exactly what they are taking about. If I had designed this system, for the sake of customer's safety, I would enable bumper sensors automatically when the user enables the summon feature. Hope that helps.
This feature is turned off by default and has to be turned on by the owner who is then prompted with several warning screens about the use of summon" That's the line I have trouble with. The bumper sensors must be turned on the moment I enable the summon feature.
That's the line that is written wrong. The only thing disabled by default is the summon feature itself. Once you enable the summon feature you don't have to enable the sensors, they are already active. All of sensors are always active and never disabled. There isn't even an option to enable or disable them.
The parking sensors are always on even with a vehicle that does not have AutoPilot. It is just the AutoSummon feature (that summons the car without you actively and continually holding a button). The parking sensors will detect objects that are at the bumper level. From the pictures in the video you will notice that the bumper never touched the back of the trailer only the front windshield was damaged by the load the trailer was carrying, well above the proximity sensors of the bumper.