It isn’t enough that Tesla cars spontaneously combust, or that they drive into things when left to their own devices. Nor is it enough that the world seems to hinge on whether or not Elon Musk and company will deliver a certain number of cars in a quarter while every other car manufacturer has no problem meeting any form of quota.
With its “Smart Summon” feature, Tesla has now become a clown car manufacturer.
Tesla’s Not-So-Smart Summon
The “Smart Summon” feature is designed to let Tesla owners press a button on their smartphone, and as long as their vehicle is within their line of sight as well as within 200 feet, the vehicle should turn on and drive straight to the owner.
This is presumably designed to help people navigate parking lots when they are burdened with groceries or other bulky items.
Naturally, this means no one is actually driving the car other than a Tesla robot. We’ve been given enough reason at this point to believe that a Tesla robot-driven automobile is really no better than this example (jump to 5:50).
As often as the case with Tesla, features that are designed in one way often don’t perform as expected.
Have a look at this video:
Or this one:
In the amount of time it took for that poor Walmart shopper to have his Tesla vehicle kinda-sorta drive over to him, the guy had probably turned into a skeleton, with the zombie apocalypse well underway.
In other cases, Tesla’s “Smart Summon” feature has resulted in some minor fender benders.
Tesla’s Repeated Fails
Okay, so there aren’t actually a bevy of clowns spilling out of Tesla vehicles…yet. Although Tesla has been described as a “circus.”
Yet this is indicative of the ongoing problems with Tesla. Elon Musk can’t resist being a showman. So he releases all of these fancy new features on cars that are apparently being held together with duct tape. Then he lets real-world customers beta-test them.
That’s simply not how legitimate car manufacturers operate.
As humorous as these videos are, it suggests that Elon Musk doesn’t even have the budget to test any new Tesla automobile features properly. Tesla is so desperate to sell cars that it will forgo standard procedures and, more importantly, safety protocols, to titillate the Tesla fanboys.
There’s a lot to be said for a disruptive approach to manufacturing automobiles. At this point, however, it all just seems like one big joke.
The Optics Are Terrible for Elon Musk
Elon Musk and Tesla are constantly trying to set the world on fire while forgoing the most basic of safety protocols.
Those protocols exist for a reason. Until now, “Smart Summon” fails have apparently caused nothing more than minor fender benders. But what happens next?
Ed Butowsky, Managing Partner of Chapwood Capital Investment Management, tells CCN:
“This is not the kind of publicity that helps Tesla or its investors. The optics are terrible. We may be able to joke about it now, but this reveals what Tesla’s real attitude is towards its products. Announce something big, then throw it onto the market before it’s ready.”
It is astonishing that Tesla’s investors are not up in arms about decisions like this.
This is a major downside to a cult of personality and cult-like stock investment. Red flags that should be blatantly apparent – and would be excoriated at any other company – earn a pass just because it’s just Elon Musk and Tesla doing their thing.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.