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Tesla China's Smart Summon Impresses with Underground Parking Lot Maneuvers

by Claribelle Deveza December 25, 2019


A video of Smart Summon in China seemed to reveal that the feature was able to maneuver around an underground parking lot without GPS. If this assumption is correct, Tesla’s AI may be further along than most presume, and Full Self-Driving is far more advanced than the company has recently shown with update 2019.40.50.

Responding to a video featuring Smart Summon in action in China, @Rec1pr0city made an interesting observation. According to the Tesla enthusiast, the Model 3 seemed to be using Smart Summon without GPS, especially since the vehicle was navigating an underground parking lot. 

Using Smart Summon without GPS has been unprecedented so far. Tesla Autopilot’s autonomous parking feature uses GPS as a guide. Tesla owners in the United States have even used GPS updates to contribute to Smart Summon’s development. In early November, Tesla owners improved their Smart Summon routes by updated OpenStreetMaps, which is an open-source collaborative map project edited by its users.

All in all, it is quite surprising to see Smart Summon seemingly functioning well without GPS. One of the more reasonable explanations for this would be that Tesla’s neural net has gathered enough data for Smart Summon to maneuver around a parking lot with just input from its cameras and ultrasonic sensors. If this is the case, the video showing the feature being used in an underground parking lot in China reveals that the Model 3 is actually “thinking” in real-time.

The fact that Smart Summon seems to be processing information and making decisions on the fly is quite an achievement for Tesla’s AI. It brings the next-gen automaker closer to Full Self-Driving and its autonomous Robotaxi fleet, which ARK Invest believes could bring TSLA shares up to the thousands.

A preview of Tesla’s FSD was released with the recent 2019.40.50 update. With the FSD preview, Tesla vehicles can fully recognize stop signs, trash cans, stop lights, and other vital surroundings. When the Full Self-Driving preview is used in conjunction with Autopilot, Tesla owners really get an idea of how autonomous cars would behave.

Smart Summon without GPS seems to reveal that Tesla has improved its AI exponentially like it did FSD in the 2019.40.50 update. With both improvements, the automaker appears to be showing how close it is to perfecting its AI system and how it could change the nature of driving for future drivers.

Featured Image Credit: @vincent13031925/Twitter

Claribelle Deveza
Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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