Autosteer

Autosteer builds upon Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (see Traffic-Aware Cruise Control), intelligently keeping Model S in its driving lane when cruising at a set speed. Autosteer also allows you to use the turn signals to move Model S into an adjacent lane (see Auto Lane Change). Autosteer detects lane markings and the presence of vehicles and objects to steer Model S.

Operating Autosteer

Before you can operate Autosteer, you must enable it by touching Controls > Autopilot > Autosteer (Beta).

Icon of a gray steering yoke.
To indicate that Autosteer is available (but not actively steering Model S), the instrument panel displays a gray Autosteer icon beside the driving speed.
To initiate Autosteer, press the right scroll wheel.

To indicate that Autosteer is now actively steering Model S, the instrument panel displays the Autosteer icon in blue. When Autosteer is able to detect lane markings, it also displays the driving lane in blue.

Autosteer briefly displays a message on the instrument panel reminding you to pay attention to the road and be ready to take over at any time.

Screenshot with an arrow pointing to the blue steering yoke icon.

The speed at which you can initiate Autosteer can vary depending on various conditions and whether or not a vehicle is detected ahead of you. When no vehicle is detected ahead of you, you must be driving at least 18 mph (30 km/h), unless certain vehicle and environmental conditions are met, in which case, you may be able to initiate it at lower speeds. When a vehicle is detected ahead of you, you can initiate Autosteer at any speed, even when stationary, provided Model S is at least 5 feet (150 cm) behind the detected vehicle.

In situations where Autosteer is temporarily unavailable, the Autosteer icon disappears. For example, your driving speed is not within the speed required for Autosteer to operate. Autosteer may also be unavailable if it is not receiving adequate data from the camera(s) or sensors.

If is unable to detect lane markings, Autosteer may determine the driving lane based on a vehicle you are following.

In most cases, Autosteer attempts to center Model S in the driving lane. However, there may be situations in which Autosteer may steer Model S in a driving path that is offset from the center of the lane (for example, detection of guard rails).

Restricted Speed

Autosteer is intended for use only by a fully attentive driver on freeways and highways where access is limited by entry and exit ramps. If you choose to use Autosteer on residential roads, a road without a center divider, or a road where access is not limited, Autosteer may limit the maximum allowed cruising speed and the instrument panel displays a message indicating that speed is restricted. The restricted speed will be the speed limit of the road plus 5 mph (10 km/h).

In situations where the speed limit cannot be detected when Autosteer is engaged, Autosteer reduces your driving speed and limits the set cruising speed to 45 mph (70 km/h). Although you can manually accelerate to exceed the limited speed, Model S may not brake for detected obstacles. Autosteer slows down to the limited speed when you release the accelerator pedal. When you leave the road, or disengage Autosteer by using the steering yoke, you can increase your set speed again, if desired.

Hold Steering Yoke

Autosteer determines how best to steer Model S. When active, Autosteer requires you to hold the steering yoke. If it does not detect your hands on the steering yoke for a period of time, a flashing light appears along the top of the instrument panel and the following message displays:

Screenshot of the message: "Apply slight turning force to steering yoke".

Autosteer detects your hands by recognizing slight resistance as the steering yoke turns, or from you manually turning the steering yoke very lightly (without enough force to take over steering). Autosteer also qualifies your hands as being detected if you engage a turn signal or use a button or scroll wheel on the steering yoke.

Autosteer requires that you pay attention to your surroundings and remain prepared to take control at any time. If Autosteer still does not detect your hands on the steering yoke, the request escalates by sounding chimes that increase in frequency.

If you repeatedly ignore Autosteer's prompts for having your hands on the steering yoke, Autosteer disables for the rest of the drive and displays the following message. If you don't resume manual steering, Autosteer sounds a continuous chime, turns on the warning flashers, and slows the vehicle to a complete stop.

Screenshot of the message: "Autosteer unavailable for the rest of this drive - Hold steering yoke to drive manually".

For the rest of the drive, you must steer manually. Autosteer is available again on your next drive (after you stop and shift Model S into Park).

Take Over Immediately

In situations where Autosteer is unable to steer Model S, Autosteer sounds a warning chime and displays the following message on the instrument panel:

Screenshot of the message: "Take over immediately" next to an icon of a triangle with an exclamation mark inside it.

When you see this message, TAKE OVER STEERING IMMEDIATELY.

Canceling Autosteer

Autosteer cancels when:

  • You start steering manually.
  • You press the brake pedal.
  • The maximum speed that Autosteer supports–90 mph (150 km/h)–is exceeded.
  • You shift.
  • A door is opened.
  • An Automatic Emergency Braking event occurs (see Collision Avoidance Assist).

When Autosteer cancels, it sounds a chime and the Autosteer icon either turns gray to indicate that Autosteer is no longer active, or disappears to indicate that it is not currently available.

To disable Autosteer so it is no longer available, touch Controls > Autopilot > Autosteer (Beta).

Auto Lane Change

When Autosteer is active, you can use the turn signals to move Model S into an adjacent lane without moving the steering yoke (which would cancel Autosteer).

Screenshot of the car changing lanes on the display.

Operating Auto Lane Change

Auto Lane Change is available whenever Autosteer is active. To change lanes using Auto Lane Change:

  1. Perform visual checks to make sure it is safe and appropriate to move into the target lane
  2. Engage the appropriate turn signal.

Auto Lane Change moves Model S into the adjacent lane in the direction indicated by the turn signal, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The continuous turn signal is engaged.
  • The Autopilot components do not detect a vehicle or obstacle up to the center of the target lane.
  • The lane markings indicate that a lane change is permitted.
  • The view of the camera(s) is not obstructed.
  • Your vehicle does not detect another vehicle in its blind spot.
  • Midway through the lane change, Auto Lane Change can detect the outside lane marking of the target lane.

As the lane change is in progress, Overtake Acceleration is activated, allowing Model S to accelerate closer to a vehicle in front (see Overtake Acceleration). Midway through the lane change, Auto Lane Change must detect the target lane's outside lane marking. If this lane marking cannot be detected, the lane change is aborted and Model S returns to its original driving lane.

When using Auto Lane Change, it is important to monitor its performance by watching the driving path in front of you and the surrounding area. Stay prepared to take over steering at any time. As you are crossing over into the adjacent lane, the instrument panel displays the location in the lane that Model S is moving into.

In situations where Auto Lane Change is unable to operate at optimal performance, or cannot operate due to inadequate data, the instrument panel displays a series of warnings. Therefore, when using Auto Lane Change, always pay attention to the instrument panel and be prepared to manually steer Model S.

Stop Light and Stop Sign Warning

While Autosteer is in use, Model S displays a warning on the instrument panel and sounds a chime if it detects that you are likely to run through a red stop light or stop sign. If this happens, TAKE IMMEDIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION!

The visual and audible warnings cancel after a few seconds, or when you press the brake pedal, whichever comes first.

Stop Light and Stop Sign Warning provides warnings only. It makes no attempt to slow down or stop Model S at red traffic lights, stop signs, road markings, etc. If your vehicle is equipped with Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control, you can enable this feature to automatically stop Model S at traffic lights and stop signs (see Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control).

Limitations

Autosteer and its associated functions are particularly unlikely to operate as intended when:

  • Autosteer is unable to accurately determine lane markings. For example, lane markings are excessively worn, have visible previous markings, have been adjusted due to road construction, are changing quickly (lanes branching off, crossing over, or merging), objects or landscape features are casting strong shadows on the lane markings, or the road surface contains pavement seams or other high-contrast lines.
  • Visibility is poor (heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.) or weather conditions are interfering with sensor operation.
  • A camera(s) or sensor(s) is obstructed, covered, or damaged.
  • Driving on hills.
  • Approaching a toll booth.
  • Driving on a road that has sharp curves or is excessively rough.
  • Bright light (such as direct sunlight) is interfering with the view of the camera(s).
  • The sensors are affected by other electrical equipment or devices that generate ultrasonic waves.
  • A vehicle is detected in your blind spot when you engage the turn signal.
  • Model S is being driven very close to a vehicle in front of it, which is blocking the view of the camera(s).