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Tesla video screengrab via Andrew Krok/CNET

Tesla updates Summon because some people need a little extra help

Now, if you activate the system via the parking stalk, you'll need to confirm that you really do want the car to park itself autonomously.

Owners can initiate the Summon process with just a couple clicks on a smartphone and then proceed to blame the results on somebody else.


Whenever you see a strange bit of child-proofing on a product, or a strange warning label, that's usually because somebody did something that resulted in a legal/PR kerfuffle, like applying Head-On somewhere other than directly to the forehead. Tesla's latest update to its Summon technology exists for a reason along those lines.

One of the primary Tesla subreddits brought my attention to a new screen when activating Summon. Instead of telling you it's activated after double-clicking the stalk that engages Park, it now forces you to confirm the direction of the auto-parking feature before leaving the vehicle, or else it will not kick in.

"This week, we updated [Summon] to require physical confirmation of the direction of travel on the center display, after a double-press of the park stalk, to ensure proper use," Tesla said in a statement. While it didn't really explain why it implemented this feature, I think last week's bout of driver error necessitated an extra button-push to engage Summon through the stalk.

You can still activate it outside the vehicle without having to step back in and confirm it on the infotainment touchscreen, but if you're going to activate it from inside the car, like the gentleman in question did last week, you're stuck spending an extra half a second pushing another button. Some folks have it tougher than others.

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