Tesla offers driver-assist technology features that make driving easier, especially on long-distance trips where fatigue can take over. While other vehicle manufacturers still rely only on sensors and radars, Tesla is always fast to go ahead of the competition. The recently upgraded Tesla Autopark provides additional ease and convenience for new Tesla owners.
What Is Tesla Autopark?
Autopark is a technological feature that helps Tesla drivers park their vehicles without maneuvering the car or even touching the steering wheel. The car itself will find ways to maneuver into your garage, parking spots, driveways, and other public places with ease. The new version can even let the car park without a driver inside the vehicle.
The Old Version
Before the October 6, 2021 update, the Autopark feature relied solely on ultrasonic sensors.
During this time, the driver has to drive past the spot until the “P” lights up. This is an indication that the car has reached its maximum distance from another car. The driver then shifts into reverse and presses “Start” and maneuvers the car until the “P” appears on the touch screen. The driver continues to maneuver until the car is parked properly.
Basically, the older version which uses ultrasonic sensors guides only the driver in calculating the distance of any obstacles from both the front and the rear of the car.
The New Version
Now it is totally different as Tesla vehicles use ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles and painted lines to position themselves in parking spots. Unlike the previous technology, Tesla cars can now park autonomously without needing a driver!
Do All Teslas Have Autopark?
As of April 2022, many of the new Tesla Models 3, S, X, and Y are equipped with Autopark, making them more appealing to new buyers.
There is no detailed information, however, if all new releases are equipped with Autopark as Tesla said on their website that the availability of the said feature depends on the market region, vehicle configuration, customer’s purchased options, and software version.
These 5 rare tips can save you so much time and stress – and few owners know about them (even after years of ownership). Sign up below to learn more. It's free!
How to Use Tesla Autopark
Models 3 and Y follow the same procedure, while Models S and X are operated slightly differently.
Requirements and Parameters (Applicable to All Models)
Autopark will only be activated when the following parameters are met:
- Your driving speed must not exceed 8 mph (13 km/h). Autopark may not be able to detect your expected parking spot if the speed is over 8 mph.
- The target parking space must not be smaller than 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) wide.
- The desired parking space must have clear lines (three lines minimum) where the vehicle needs to park. Lines include road markings, distinct curbs, and parking lines. Autopark may not work in any space without clear line marks (e.g., garage or roadside open spaces).
- Autopark may not work on rough and textured road surfaces such as pebbles, bricks, or cobblestones.
- Your driving speed must not exceed 13 mph (21 km/h). Autopark may not be able to detect your expected parking spot if the speed is over 13 mph.
- There must be a parked vehicle in front of your desired parking space.
- There must be a visible parking curb, edge, or gutter on the side. Autopark may not identify the parking space if there is only grass or open space on the side.
How to Use Autopark on Model 3 and Model Y
- Drive near a parking spot, and when the “P” appears, bring the car to halt and tap the “P.”
- Shift to reverse.
- Click “Start Autopark.”
- The car itself will start to maneuver until it is parked properly. “Autopark Complete” will appear when it is done.
Watch the demo below by MonsterGadgets:
How to Use Autopark on Model S and Model X
Autopark in the Model S and Model X is quite easy and straightforward.
- Hold down the “Autopark” button. The car will take over, and you don’t have to hold anything (steering wheel, pedals, etc.).
- When the parking is complete, “Autopark Complete” will appear on the screen.
YouTuber Puca’s Life shows how it’s done:
Pause Parking (Models 3, S, X, Y)
If, for some reason, you want to cancel parking, just press the brake pedal and the car will stop. It will remain stopped until you tap “Resume” on the screen. The car will continue to maneuver autonomously once “Resume” is tapped.
Cancel Parking (Models 3, S, X, Y)
If you think Autopark is slow and you’re in a hurry, you can cancel the process and take over the wheel. Autopark will be canceled if any of the following happens:
- When the car is having difficulty and it moves more than seven times (forward/reverse)
- When the driver or anyone exits from the vehicle while the car is maneuvering
- When any of the doors are opened
- When the accelerator or brake pedal is pressed
- When there is an automatic emergency braking event
Tesla Autopark Limitations
Autopark is not perfect and can cause some problems if any of the following situations is present:
- The road is not flat, unpaved, or sloped. Autopark can only operate on flat road surfaces.
- When a non-concrete curb is not detected by sensors
- Poor visibility due to extreme weather (rain, snow)
- When the target parking space is next to a wall
- Damaged and obstructed sensors
- When magnetic and/or ultrasonic waves interfere with the sensors
Autopark can cause problems if it fails to complete the session, similar to the experience below:
My Model 3 Autopark failed and it scratched another car. Tesla told me though that any damage caused by Autopark is not Tesla’s responsibility but the owner’s.alphawolf9999
How Reliable and Safe Tesla Autopark Is?
Tesla Autopark is a cool feature that makes other non-Tesla owners jealous, but we must remember that it is not yet fully autonomous and needs the driver’s attention and monitoring while it’s doing its thing.
Tesla knows its limitations, that’s why the company specified it on its website. As a responsible driver/owner, it’s still your job to monitor and attend to your car to avoid accidents that may cause harm to yourself and others and damage properties.
Autopark is built for additional comfort and safety, and when it senses obstacles, the car stops.
One major issue raised by many is when the car stops, it doesn’t know what to do next. This is where human intervention is still needed. It may stop in any place where other vehicles are passing through, which could cause additional problems.
Tesla owners who have used Tesla Autopark expressed mixed reactions regarding the added feature.
Some owners complained that they could not activate the feature in their vehicles, while others said Autopark just disappeared.
I used this feature a lot back in 2019 but now it’s just disappearing. I think I might have accidentally disabled the feature but still couldn’t figure out why.martinlindhe
Of course, some owners were happy too:
I use it almost every day. When looking for a space, just continue a little further than it feels normal. It only takes about 2 seconds for the P icon to appear. It can find space for parallel parking at an acceptable speed.fursty_ferret
Whether Tesla Autopark is reliable or not depends on every driver. Autopark is reliable for fully responsible drivers, while it may not be enough for drivers who are less responsible and careless.
Tesla Smart Summon
Smart Summon is another Tesla feature under the Full Self-Driving (FSD) version of Autopilot.
Summon allows you to park and retrieve your Tesla, which is equipped with the latest Autopark, while you are outside of your vehicle for a specified distance depending on the car model.
This feature is very important and can be useful in many situations like when you’re coming from a grocery store and carrying something and cannot go through populated parking spots.
How Smart Summon Works and How to Use It
Tesla Smart Summon works on both iOS and Android smartphones. Before using Smart Summon, take note of the following (Source: Tesla):
- Your phone must have the latest version of the Tesla app, must be GPS enabled, and must have active cellular service.
- Your phone must be connected to your car and located within 213 feet (65 meters) radius.
- Your car’s cameras must be fully calibrated.
- Your vehicle must be in Park mode and not charging, and no door or trunk is open.
How to Use Smart Summon in Tesla Model 3, S, X, and Y
- On your phone, open the Tesla app and tap Summon.
- Tap the Smart Summon icon at the center of the image of your car. Wait for several seconds for the Smart Summon feature to start up.
- Make sure to maintain a maximum distance of 65 meters between you and your car. The blue dot on the map represents your location, while the red arrow represents your vehicle’s location.
- Make sure you have a clear line of sight of your car.
- Start operating Smart Summon using any of the following methods:
Come to Me Mode
Start by pressing and holding the “Come to Me” button. The car will move toward your location. If you move, the car will follow you. If you stop and the car reaches you, it will also stop.
Go to Target Mode
This mode allows you to send your car to any location you want within the given 65-meter distance, unless you also move and follow your car. Start by touching the crosshair icon and then drag the map to position the pin on the selected location. Press and hold the “Go to Target” button. The car will go to the chosen target and will stop and shift into Park mode. You’ll get a message indicating that Summon is completed.
Here’s a visual example of the process above from Tesla:
Stopping or Canceling Smart Summon
To stop Summon anytime, just release the “Come to Me” or “Go to Target” button. To resume the Smart Summon session, just tap the button again.
Smart Summon can be interrupted or canceled and requires you to restart it when:
- A door handle is touched or a door is opened.
- The vehicle is blocked by an obstacle.
- The vehicle has reached beyond the 65-meter proximity limit. To let the vehicle move farther than the allowed proximity, shift the vehicle to drive or reverse and restart the Smart Summon session.
- Your phone loses power or has connectivity issues.
Standby Mode and Smart Summon
The vehicle needs to warm up before using Smart Summon. So to reduce the waiting time while it is warming up, turn the vehicle on Standby Mode.
To do this, tap Controls > Autopilot > Standby Mode. You can also conserve battery energy by disabling the Standby More in specific locations like Home, Work, and Favorites (locations in your Favorite list).
Smart Summon Limitations
Smart Summon may not operate as intended when any of the following situations is present:
- Unavailability of GPS connection
- The road surface is uneven or sloped. Smart Summon is designed to work on flat road surfaces only.
- When the car detects a raised concrete edge. Smart Summon may not allow the vehicle to pass on higher edges.
- One or more sensors are damaged or obstructed.
- Extreme weather conditions can interfere with the GPS signal and the camera.
- When the sensors are affected by any magnetic or ultrasonic waves.
- There are many other situations where GPS and sensors may not work depending on the given condition.
Smart Summon can cause problems if it fails to complete the session, just like the experience below:
Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Autopark
Is Autopark standard for all Tesla cars?
Autopark was first introduced to the Model S in 2017. Today, it is available for the Model X and the Model 3. It became a standard feature on the Model Y in the middle of 2019. The availability, however, for Models 3, S, and X depends on the regional market and customer’s options.
How do I know if my Tesla has Autopark?
The fastest and most accurate solution is to ask your dealer. If you purchased a used Tesla, you can also ask the previous owner. Another way is to drive slowly near the parking spots and wait for the P to appear. If the P appears it means your Tesla has an Autopark.
Can Tesla Autopark do full self-driving?
Autopark can make the car park itself whether you are inside or outside your car. But because it is not yet fully autonomous, it is highly recommended that you monitor your car while it is trying to park or leaving the parking spot.
Can Tesla park itself while you sleep?
While there may be some people who will try to do this, it is not recommended and could result in a disaster.
Tesla Autopark and Summon are cool features built for increased convenience and safety, but still, it is not recommended to rely heavily on these technologies.
As a responsible driver, your safety is still in your own hands and not on the car’s features.
Surely, both of these added and improved features could be very useful, but if used carelessly, they could also result in personal harm and even damage to property.
Always drive safely!
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
Does Tesla Model 3 Qualify for Uber Select?
A Tesla Model 3 on Uber? Is it a good idea? How much can you earn? What about insurance? Maintenance? All your Uber-related questions would be answered here.
Can Tesla Model 3 Self-Park Reliably? 10 Owners Put It to the Test
Ever wondered if the Tesla Model 3 can self-park? Wonder no more. Here are 10 owners who tested the feature in the real world.