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Tesla’s Advanced Summon feature will soon turn vehicles into ‘giant RC cars’

tesla model s

When Elon Musk takes to Twitter, you’re never quite sure what is going to happen. Luckily for Tesla owners, his recent tweets revealed a new feature coming to the company’s line of vehicles. According to Musk, Teslas will soon have an “advanced summon” feature for controlling the car even when no one is behind the wheel. He added that regulators approved the feature in January 2019.

Musk has always talked a big game when it comes to his cars, and the latest claim is no exception. According to Tesla’s CEO, the Summon feature will allow certain vehicles to drive to the location of the owner’s phone. It will even follow them “like a pet,” according to Musk, if the car owner holds down the Summon button on the Tesla app.

Just in case having your car mirror your every move isn’t enough for you, Musk’s team added one more feature: The ability to remotely control the vehicle while you’re not in the driver’s seat. As long as you’re in the line of sight of the car, you’ll be able to control it remotely from your phone. Musk said it will be like having a “big RC car.” He didn’t specify which regulators he was referring to in his tweet, however. We’ve reached out to Tesla for clarification, and we’ll update this story when we hear back.

At least one person has already put the Summon feature to use to move his car. Tesla owner Shawn Kennedy posted a video on Twitter that showed him remotely moving his car from one parking spot to another in order to avoid a ticket in spaces with two-hour limits. Kennedy moves the car from the comfort of his office several stories above the street.

The Summon feature and all the promised bells and whistles that come with it will reportedly be available soon, per Musk’s January 22 tweet, though a more specific time frame isn’t available yet. It will arrive via an over-the-air software upgrade. That means Tesla owners will go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning in possession of a car that can follow them around. Summon will be available on most Tesla models from the last two years. As long as the car has the advanced driver assistance system (usually referred to as Autopilot) or the upgraded version known as Enhanced Autopilot, it will be able to get the Summon update.

Update January 24, 2019: Added the latest information about Advanced Summon.

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AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
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