Model 3 Self-Parking – Here’s How Good Today’s Model 3 Is

Model 3 Self-Parking

The Tesla Model 3 aims to take the difficulty out of parking for you. If you have ever grown frustrated at trying to fit your vehicle in a crowded parking lot safely, this new feature available with the Tesla Autopilot may be exactly what you have been looking for. The question becomes how good it actually is. 

When it comes to the self-parking feature on your Tesla 3, the system is only as good as the driver’s ability to monitor it. Keep in mind that this is not perfect technology. There are many variables and obstacles at play within the average parking lot. In addition, the feature is only currently available in certain types of situations. 

There is a lot to take in when it comes to using the self-parking feature on the Tesla Model 3. You will want to understand all of the various nuances known with this system before you start to use it. Continue reading to discover the benefits and disadvantages of self-parking with the Model 3 to determine if it is something you want to use. 

Can a Tesla Parallel Park Itself?

The Tesla Model 3 is now able to parallel park itself. This is a big relief to many drivers who find parallel parking to be one of the most difficult things to do with a vehicle. 

To parallel park, certain steps must be taken in order for the feature to work properly. In addition, there are certain situations in which the system will be overridden, and the feature will not be available. It is also very important that the driver remain involved throughout the parking process in case it becomes necessary to step in if something is going wrong. 

The Bottom Line About Self-Parking with a Tesla

Tesla first introduced its self-parking feature back in 2017 with the Model S. It has since expanded to the Model 3. All that it requires is a software update if you have a Tesla manufactured before that date. 

The bottom line is that Tesla Model 3 is now able to park itself. It needs to be mentioned, that the feature will only work in certain types of parking lots. As such, it is considered to be a useful feature in a limited number of situations. 

Tesla is still testing the system and going through user reviews to determine how best to modify it in the future. This is made easier given that Tesla can push through software upgrades years down the road, continually perfecting the feature without users having to buy new hardware or upgrading to a different vehicle model. 

Follow These Steps to Execute Self-Parking on the Model 3

One thing that you should know is that the self-parking feature on the Tesla Model 3 will only work if your current speed is less than 15 miles per hour. It will also only engage when there are two other vehicles and a curb involved. 

If the above conditions are met, it is quite easy to begin using the self-park feature on the Model 3. Follow these steps and you should be on your way to a successfully parked car. 

  1. Begin by pulling up next to the car that is in front of the parking spot you would like to get your car into. 
  2. Stop your Model 3 and then put it into reverse. You should then see a ‘P’ symbol appear on your vehicle display plane. Press that button and you will engage the self-parking feature. 
  3. The car will then start to move itself into the parking space automatically. 

It needs to be mentioned that the system is not perfect, but it will sense when it cannot quite make the turn. If it cannot, the Tesla will automatically straighten up its wheels while simultaneously moving itself forward enough that it can then reverse straight back into the parking space. 

These are the basic steps involved in self-parking the Tesla. You can initiate the process on either side of the road. Keep in mind that the option will not be available to you unless all of the conditions have been met to engage the self-parking feature on Autopilot

You can also initiate the self-parking feature on the Model 3 when you are not in the car. To do that, you will engage Summon from the Tesla mobile app. You can then hold down either the ‘Forward’ or ‘Reverse’ button to move the car. 

This is How Self-Parking Works on a Model 3

In developing the self-park feature, Tesla has made use of a series of tools to visualize the surroundings at every angle around a vehicle. These include: 

  • Radar
  • Ultrasonic sensors
  • Cameras

This is how the car is able to navigate a parking lot and get into a particular parking space that you have chosen. This is the key – the driver must actually select where he or she wishes to park the Model 3. 

You pull adjacent to the parking space that you desire, stop the car and wait for the ‘P’ symbol to appear on your control. This is representative of the self-parking feature. Once you hit that button, the process will begin. 

If the system works properly, your car will safely navigate its way into the chosen parking space. You will hear a notification coming from your control panel when your Model 3 is finished parking and it is safe to shut the vehicle down. 

Safety Issues with Self-Parking

There have been some early safety issues reports with Tesla’s self-park feature on the Model 3. Some drivers have reported that the car moves a bit too fast when the feature is engaged. This can cause damage to the vehicle. It also creates a risk for

  • Drivers
  • Bystanders
  • Other Motorists who happen to be in the vicinity.

Tesla is continually monitoring the system and pledges to enhance with upgrades as they become available. Any Tesla owner is invited to send their driver logs to the company so that they can review and learn from them. It is also important to remember that the driver can disengage the self-park feature at any time during the process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a couple of frequently asked questions that should help you better understand how good today’s Model 3 self-parking feature is. 

Can the Model 3 self-park itself in Reverse?

Yes, it can. The Model 3 has a Summon feature within the software included with Autopilot. This includes the ability to reverse self-park. 

Does Every Model Tesla Have the Self-Parking Feature?

Autopilot now includes the ability to self-park on every Tesla model currently in production. Depending on the model, it either comes as a standard feature or one that can be downloaded. 

Are You Able to Self-Park a Model 3 in a Garage?

As long as the Summon feature has been installed on your Model 3, you will be able to self-park the vehicle into a garage. That being said, it is important that you exercise caution before doing so. Many drivers have reported some issues with self-parking their Model 3 in tight indoor spaces, such as what you would find with a garage. 


With self-parking now available on the Tesla Model 3, it is time to decide whether or not you will actually use it. There are certainly situations where it can be useful, but you will still want to always maintain control over the vehicle. Look for future software upgrades that should make this part of Autopilot even more useful in the future. 

Tesla Discounts:


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

Recent Posts