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Summon in empty parking lot

golfcart

Member
Dec 16, 2019
296
403
The 757
I just got my model 3 a couple weeks ago and decided to try out the summon feature. We went to an empty parking lot where an old Kmart used to be (but closed a couple of years ago) and decided to try and get it to navigate to us. It seemed to have a really hard time despite the stalls being well marked. Does it require other vehicles around to establish where the lanes are? It didn't seem to be able to recognize them in the empty lot at all, the car cut straight across the stalls multiple times then seemed to stop itself once it realized what it was doing. Overall, my friends and I were not particularly impressed. Am I doing something wrong?
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,545
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
I just got my model 3 a couple weeks ago and decided to try out the summon feature. We went to an empty parking lot where an old Kmart used to be (but closed a couple of years ago) and decided to try and get it to navigate to us. It seemed to have a really hard time despite the stalls being well marked. Does it require other vehicles around to establish where the lanes are? It didn't seem to be able to recognize them in the empty lot at all, the car cut straight across the stalls multiple times then seemed to stop itself once it realized what it was doing. Overall, my friends and I were not particularly impressed. Am I doing something wrong?

No, you are not doing anything wrong. Smart Summon is not programmed to follow the lanes in parking lots. It is also not really programmed with parking lot driving rules. It will simply try to take the shortest path. So if it can, it will cut across empty parking spots. Obviously, if there are parked cars, it will avoid them and try to find the shortest path around the parked cars.
 

jackryon

Member
Jan 15, 2020
13
18
Maine
Can you imagine pulling into a spot just as a "summoned", driverless Tesla was trying to navigate through a row of parked cars, and through the spot into which you were maneuvering? I'm genuinely curious how the Tesla would react.
 

boonedocks

MS LR Blk/Blk 19” OD-1/1/21 RN#1143376 DD 9/4 11am
May 1, 2015
3,180
5,955
Gainesville GA
Smart summon is still a paltry party trick. I have tried it in various parking lots around the metro Atlanta area and it has only "partially" competed once and then cause traffic in both lanes to stop until I got in. Every other time it has completely failed. The biggest issue I see is, unless it is poring down rain, is that it is immensely quicker to just walk to your car and get in. Until this issue is fixed even if it functions as it should it is completely a party trick unless you are physically handicapped (in which case it could be a true life saver).
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,545
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
It gives me the impression that smart summon is still programmed for using sonars as an obstacle avoidance system rather than the camera system.

It probably uses both. The ultrasonics are probably used for close objects like a parked car in the adjacent spot whereas the cameras are used for more distant objects like to see the lane ahead and cars coming towards it.

Several months ago, I demo'd Smart Summon for some of my friends in a church parking lot. Smart Summon kept trying to cut through empty parking spots to go straight to me but it would see that the path was not driveable because of a grass divider and then steer back into the lane, drive down for a little bit and then try to cut through again to come straight at me, see the path was not clear and try again later. It did this about 3 times until it finally came to the end of the isle and was able to turn towards me.

I think part of the problem was that the grass divider was partially obstructed by parked cars. Since the cameras could not see where the grass divider ended, it kept thinking that maybe the path was clear when it wasn't. But I also think the lack of a HD map is also to blame. If the car had an annotated HD map, it would have known what path to take to come to me and to simply drive down the isle.

EDIT: Smart Summon does use Open Street Maps. So maybe that parking lot was not annotated yet when I demo'd Smart Summon. But it was clear at the time, that Smart Summon had no clue what path to drive.
 

Soda Popinski

Member
May 9, 2018
407
550
Los Angeles, CA
No, you are not doing anything wrong. Smart Summon is not programmed to follow the lanes in parking lots. It is also not really programmed with parking lot driving rules. It will simply try to take the shortest path. So if it can, it will cut across empty parking spots. Obviously, if there are parked cars, it will avoid them and try to find the shortest path around the parked cars.

That's not the whole story. Smart Summon uses paths in Open Street Maps, which may or may not exist for the parking lot you're currently in. So it'll basically be hit or miss. You can update the maps yourself, and at some point in the future, it should follow the lines you put down. It definitely doesn't do it with the cameras.
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,862
7,043
Snohomish, WA
I just got my model 3 a couple weeks ago and decided to try out the summon feature. We went to an empty parking lot where an old Kmart used to be (but closed a couple of years ago) and decided to try and get it to navigate to us. It seemed to have a really hard time despite the stalls being well marked. Does it require other vehicles around to establish where the lanes are? It didn't seem to be able to recognize them in the empty lot at all, the car cut straight across the stalls multiple times then seemed to stop itself once it realized what it was doing. Overall, my friends and I were not particularly impressed. Am I doing something wrong?

The first step to use Smart Summon is to make sure that OpenStreetMaps has information for the parking lot you're testing it out in.

This is how it knows the lanes in, and around the parking lot. If it doesn't have these then there needs to be cars in the parking lots. It doesn't seem capable of building its own parking lot map.

In my own testing it worked a lot better after I updated the map info for the parking lot I was testing it in.

OpenStreetMaps allows anyone to update the maps.
 

golfcart

Member
Dec 16, 2019
296
403
The 757
The first step to use Smart Summon is to make sure that OpenStreetMaps has information for the parking lot you're testing it out in.

This is how it knows the lanes in, and around the parking lot. If it doesn't have these then there needs to be cars in the parking lots. It doesn't seem capable of building its own parking lot map.

In my own testing it worked a lot better after I updated the map info for the parking lot I was testing it in.

OpenStreetMaps allows anyone to update the maps.

thanks I’ll have to give that a try
 

motocheme

Member
Jun 25, 2019
28
52
Murrieta, CA
I mapped the parking lot at work some time ago. Weeks later I tried smart summon late in the evening after most people went home. The car appeared to be following the parking lanes even though most stalls were empty. Despite the easy conditions it still failed twice and refused to finish coming to me after making it halfway. I have no idea what the cause of the failure was, but this feature definitely still needs work.
 

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