|Using the Tesla app on my iPhone, I was able to "summon" my Tesla Model S. In other words, I stood outside and the car started and backed itself out of my flooded garage, below.|
|When I park my Model S in the garage, the driver's door is next to the drain.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The "Summon" feature is the latest addition to Tesla's autonomous-driving features in the Model S, and I didn't really think I had any use for it.
But when torrential rains lashed my house today, water poured out of the garden and onto the sunken floor in front of the entrance door to our detached garage.
I used the garage-door opener, intending to enter from the driveway, but there were 3 inches to 4 inches of water swirling into the interior drain opposite the driver's door of the car.
That's when I opened my phone's Tesla app, hit the "Summon" button, and watched the car start and back out of the garage into the driveway, until I hit the "Stop" button.
Cool. I climbed into the car without getting my shoes soaked.
By the time I returned 30 minutes later, the rain had stopped and the water had drained out of the garage.
Tesla advises owners to use "Summon" only on private property, but is expected eventually to enable owners to "summon" their cars from far greater distances.