A new Tesla Model 3 is shown at a delivery center on the last day of the company's third quarter, in San Diego
A new Tesla Model 3 is shown at a delivery center on the last day of the company's third quarter, in San Diego, California, September 30, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)

When Tesla deployed the new feature "Smart Summon" with the software update V10.0 last week, the carmaker had made clear it was in beta version. And for safety purposes, the company further stressed that it would be best to limit the function's use on private parkways and garages.

As it turned out, Tesla owners could not contain their excitement and used Smart Summon anyway the manner they deemed fit unsurprisingly, what they witnessed bordered to mixed results but more on disappointments that the feature failed to deliver as promised. Or perhaps, users simply didn't grasp Smart Summon's basic designs and actual capability.

In the days that followed the release of the smart feature, which Tesla said will allow Tesla car owners to automatically start the vehicle from the parking lot and pick them with the aid of a smartphone, social media sites exploded with tales of Smart Summon proving it's not too smart at all.

To be fair, a number of users reported that Smart Summon functioned as intended, but these positive feedbacks have been overwhelmed by complaints of Tesla owners meeting near-accidents and causing or incurring damages.

All these stories, the positives, and the negatives, only pointed to one thing - that as sophisticated as the technology that Tesla deploys with its car models, still "there are no self-driving cars," that exist today, CNET said in a report.

It's unfortunate that Tesla car owners had to realize this truth the hard way. As the same report made clear, Smart Summon remains a beta feature and Tesla underscored this fact when its V10 release note declared rather plainly: "Smart Summon is only intended for use in private parking lots and driveways."

The company also stated that Smart Summon might be unable to detect obstacles in a vehicle's path, so car owners need to exercise caution when using the feature.

"You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times within your line of sight," Tesla was reported as saying.

In the end, Tesla can be faulted too for allowing the public beta testing of Smart Summons, which, going by the confusions and chaos that followed its release, is still unfit for public enjoyment.

However, Tesla car owners are far from innocent as well. The Verge said there were cases that clearly showed users had a wrong notion of Smart Summon's capabilities. There were allegations too that as imperfect the technology maybe, some users were "doing some dumb things with it."

In addition, Tesla supporters insisted that a number of the reports critical of Smart Summon might have been laced with lies, the report added.

Notwithstanding all these stories that put Tesla in the bad light, the company appeared firm on its faith to the feature with Tesla CEO Elon Musk even insisting that Smart Summon "is improving rapidly," per the report by BGR.