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Monday, May 20, 2024

A Tesla crashed into a private jet worth up to $3.5 million while in Smart Summon mode, witness says

A Tesla crashed into a private jet worth up to $3.5 million while in Smart Summon mode, witness says

A witness at Felts Field airport who posted a video on Reddit told Insider the car was in Smart Summon mode when it crashed into a Cirrus Vision Jet.
A Tesla appeared to crash into a private jet valued between $3 million and $3.5 million while in its self-driving Smart Summon mode on Friday, according to a witness.

A Reddit user with the username u/smiteme said they witnessed the event and posted a video of the incident to the platform.

The footage shows a driverless Tesla crashing into a Cirrus Vision Jet at Felt Fields Airport in Spokane, Washington. The airport did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside normal working hours.

Cirrus confirmed to Insider that the plane was a Cirrus Vision Jet priced between $3 million and $3.5 million and belonged to a customer, who it was unable to identify. It is unclear how much damage the car or plane sustained in the incident.

The Reddit user u/smiteme, who asked not to share their real name, told Insider they were at the event, which was put on by Cirrus.

They said: "It was at Felts Field airport in Spokane for an event put on by Cirrus. I'm not sure whose jet it was — it arrived later into the event (there was another Vision jet and several Cirrus planes there as well)."

They added: "I don't know the owners of either vehicle. Just that the Tesla owner was using summon."

Tesla's Smart Summon mode allows its driver to
the car using their phone within a distance of 200 feet. The feature reportedly caused havoc when it was first rolled out in 2019, with some Teslas reportedly driving into foliage or being involved in near-misses.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment outside normal working hours.

Tesla's website carries a number of warnings for its Smart Summon mode. These include the fact that it is a Beta feature and that as such the car should be continually monitored by its owner while in that mode.

"Smart Summon is designed and intended for use only on parking lots and driveways located on private property where the surrounding area is familiar and predictable. Do not use Smart Summon on public roads," one of the warnings states.

Self-driving technology is receiving gradual approval by US regulators. In March, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved the production and deployment of cars without steering wheels or pedals in a landmark ruling.

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