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Tesla and Smart Summon being used in a Canadian parking lot makes headlines again

2 min read
York Region Tesla

Photo by Susie Kockerscheidt/Torstar

Earlier this month we saw how traditional media framed a story of a Tesla in a parking lot in Richmond BC being operated using Smart Summon by its owner. The situation was labelled as “shocking, bizarre, and dangerous”, and the provincial insurance corporation, ICBC, responded by saying that using Smart Summon may void your insurance if an accident occurs.

If you live in Thornhill Ontario, you better keep your head on a swivel the next time you’re in a parking lot, as York Region published a similar story where a driver was “spooked” as a Tesla drove by itself through a parking lot “extremely slowly”.

Nathan Cantkier was the spooked driver, who had this to say about Tesla’s Smart Summon driving behaviour.

“I was like wtf? Where is this yahoo going? What a knob! … Only to find there was no driver and I was cussing at no one!”

Cantkier said that the owner of the Tesla was operating the vehicle while still in a yogurt store, which probably isn’t the safest way to use Smart Summon. Tesla says that you are obviously still responsible for your car and must keep it in your line of sight at all times, something which this owner may not have done.

What this story does show is how the general public is afraid of technological advancements, even when they know little to nothing about them. Cantkier’s wife (who didn’t witness the incident), said Smart Summon makes her fear for the safety of her two sons.

“The concept of driverless cars scares the heck out of me,” she said. “Do we not have enough to worry about on our roads?”

If you do have Tesla’s Full Self-Driving package and Smart Summon, please remember to operate it in a safe manner following Tesla’s guidelines. A good idea is to use it in empty parking lots first so you can get comfortable with how the vehicle reacts to obstacles.

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