Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system that enhances safety and convenience behind the wheel. When used properly, Autopilot reduces your overall workload as a driver. 8 external cameras, a radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a powerful onboard computer provide an additional layer of safety to guide you on your journey. Cars built between September 2014 and October 2016 include one camera and less-powerful radar and ultrasonic sensors.
Autopilot is intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any time. While Autopilot is designed to become more capable over time, in its current form, it is not a self-driving system. There are five levels of automation and Autopilot is currently classified as a Level 2 automated system according to SAE J3016, which is endorsed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Before using Autopilot, please read your Owner's Manual for instructions and more safety information. While using Autopilot, it is your responsibility to stay alert, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and maintain control of your car. Many of our Autopilot features, like Autosteer, Navigate on Autopilot and Summon, are disabled by default. To enable them, you must go to the Autopilot Controls menu within the Settings tab and turn them on.
Before enabling Autopilot, the driver first needs to agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle”. Subsequently, every time the driver engages Autopilot, they are shown a visual reminder to “keep your hands on the wheel”.
Navigate on Autopilot
Navigate on Autopilot is designed to get you to your destination more efficiently by actively guiding your car from on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use.
To engage this feature, you must first enable Autosteer by going to Controls > Autopilot > Autosteer - then enable the Navigate on Autopilot feature. Camera calibration will be required and the latest version of Navigation maps must be downloaded via WiFi.
For each route where Navigate on Autopilot is available, you will have the option to activate it by pressing the NAVIGATE ON AUTOPILOT button located in your Navigation Turn List.
On Model 3, Navigate on Autopilot can be engaged on most highways by moving the gear lever twice downwards, in quick succession.
On Model S and Model X, Navigate on Autopilot (Beta) can be engaged on most highways by pulling the cruise stalk toward you, twice in quick succession.
Traffic-Aware Cruise Control To engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control in Model S and Model X, pull down once on the cruise control stalk on the left of the steering column. In Model 3, pull down once on the gear selector stalk on the right of the steering column.
To engage Autosteer in Model S and Model X, pull down twice on the cruise control stalk on the left of the steering column. In Model 3, pull down twice on the gear selector stalk on the right of the steering column. A grey steering wheel icon will appear on your display, next to the speedometer, when the system is available to engage. A blue steering wheel icon will appear on your display, next to the speedometer, when Autosteer is engaged.
When Autosteer is in use, it measures the amount of torque that you apply to the steering wheel and, if insufficient torque is applied, an escalating series of audible and visual alerts again reminds you to place your hands on the wheel. This helps ensure you are attentive, and that the steering wheel is properly oriented in the event that you need to take over control. If you repeatedly ignore these warnings, then you will be locked out from using Autopilot for the duration of that trip.
Auto Lane Change
To initiate an automated lane change, you must first enable Auto Lane Changes through the Autopilot Controls menu within the Settings tab. Then when the car is in Autosteer, a driver must engage the turn signal in the direction that they would like to move. In the future, turn signal confirmations may be removed.
To enable Autopark your car must be driving at 10mph or less. If your car sees a parking spot, a grey ‘P’ icon will appear on the left or right hand side of your instrument panel, depending on the location of the space.
To use Autopark at that time, press on the brake and shift the gear selector into ‘Reverse’. Keep your foot on the brake. ‘Start Autopark’ will appear in blue text on your touchscreen – press this to start the feature and release the brake and steering wheel. Autopark will then begin to maneuver the vehicle into the parking space by controlling your cars speed, gear changes and steering angle, but you should remember to be alert and monitor the backup camera view to check for obstacles.
Once Autopark is complete, the car will let you know it is complete and shift into ‘Park’. You can override Autopark at any time by taking control of the steering wheel.
To use Summon, open the Tesla app. Press Summon and then press the forward or reverse buttons. Model S and Model X owners can use Summon with their key fob by holding the center of the key fob for three seconds until the car’s hazard lights come on, and then pressing either the frunk or trunk button on key fob to Summon forwards and backwards respectively. Summon also integrates with HomeLink and will open your garage door to pull your car out of the garage.
Active Safety Features
All Tesla cars made since October 2016 come standard with advanced active safety features for elevated protection at all times. These features are made possible by our Autopilot hardware system and include:
- Automatic Emergency Braking: Detects cars or obstacles that the car may impact and applies the brakes accordingly
- Front Collision Warning: Warns of impending collisions with slower moving or stationary cars
- Side Collision Warning: Warns of potential collisions with obstacles alongside the car
- Obstacle Aware Acceleration: Automatically reduces acceleration when an obstacle is detected in front of your car while driving at low speeds
- Blind Spot Monitoring: Warns when a car or obstacle is detected when changing lanes
- Lane Departure Avoidance: Applies corrective steering to keep your car in the intended lane
- Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance: Steers your car back into the driving lane when it detects that your car is departing its lane and there could be a collision
Active safety features are designed to assist drivers, but cannot respond in every situation. It is your responsibility to stay alert, drive safely and be in control of your car at all times.
Autopilot is a suite of driver assistance features that can be purchased before you buy your car or after it’s been delivered, and brings new functionality to your Tesla that makes driving safer and less stressful. Available packages include:
- Traffic-Aware Cruise Control: Matches the speed of your car to that of the surrounding traffic
- Autosteer: Assists in steering within a clearly marked lane, and uses traffic-aware cruise control
Full Self-Driving Capability
- Navigate on Autopilot (Beta): Actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit
- Auto Lane Change: Assists in moving to an adjacent lane on the highway when Autosteer is engaged
- Autopark: Helps automatically parallel or perpendicular park your car, with a single touch
- Summon: Moves your car in and out of a tight space using the mobile app or key
- Coming later this year:
- Recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs
- Automatic driving on city streets
The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous. The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions. As these self-driving features evolve, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all cars have Autopilot?
Every Tesla built since October 2016 comes standard with advanced hardware capable of providing Autopilot features today. Cars built between September 2014 and October 2016 include one camera and less-powerful radar and ultrasonic sensors.
You can purchase Autopilot upgrades at any time through your Tesla Account – and the Autopilot software required will be added to your car. Log into your account, then select 'Manage' for the Model of choice. Scroll down to 'Shop' and then select 'Autopilot Upgrades.'
Can I try Autopilot before purchasing?
You can experience Autopilot on a test drive at one of our Tesla store locations. New owners and those who have not already upgraded to Autopilot are also eligible for a trial. This provides you with the opportunity to experience our latest driver assistance features at no cost.
Can a car be retrofitted with Autopilot hardware?
All cars built since October 2016 come standard with Autopilot hardware.
Cars built between September 2014 and October 2016 include one camera and less-powerful radar and ultrasonic sensors. For these cars, we do not offer a retrofit to the newest Autopilot hardware.
How does Autopilot work?
Built on a deep neural network, Autopilot uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar to see and sense the environment around the car. This robust sensor and camera suite provides drivers with an awareness of their surroundings that a driver alone would not otherwise have. A powerful onboard computer processes these inputs in a matter of milliseconds to help make your driving safer and less stressful.
Do I still need to pay attention while using Autopilot?
Yes. Autopilot is a hands-on driver assistance system that is intended to be used only with a fully attentive driver. It does not turn a Tesla into a self-driving car nor does it make a car autonomous.
Before enabling Autopilot, you must agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your car.” Once engaged, if insufficient torque is applied, Autopilot will also deliver an escalating series of visual and audio warnings, reminding you to place your hands on the wheel if insufficient torque is applied. If you repeatedly ignore these warnings, you will be locked out from using Autopilot during that trip.
You can override any of Autopilot’s features at any time by steering, applying the brakes, or using the cruise control stalk to deactivate.
What are the limitations of Autopilot?
Many factors can impact the performance of Autopilot, causing the system to be unable to function as intended. These include, but are not limited to: poor visibility (due to heavy rain, snow, fog, etc.), bright light (due to oncoming headlights, direct sunlight, etc.), mud, ice, snow, interference or obstruction by objects mounted onto the vehicle (such as a bike rack), obstruction caused by applying excessive paint or adhesive products (such as wraps, stickers, rubber coating, etc.) onto the vehicle; narrow, high curvature or winding roads, a damaged or misaligned bumper, interference from other equipment that generates ultrasonic waves, extremely hot or cold temperatures.
To ensure the Autopilot hardware can provide information that is as accurate as possible, keep the cameras and sensors clean and free of obstructions or damage. Occasionally remove any buildup of dirt by wiping the cameras and sensors with a soft cloth dampened with warm water.
How do I use Autopilot features?
Before using Autopilot, please read your Owner's Manual for instructions and more safety information. While using Autopilot features, it is your responsibility to stay alert, drive safely and be in control of your car at all times.
Activating Autopilot in Model S and Model X
Activating Autopilot in Model 3
How long does Autopilot take to calibrate before you can enable it?
Before Autopilot features can be used for the first time, cameras must complete a self-calibration process. Calibration typically completes after driving 20-25 miles (32-40 km), but the distance varies depending on road and environmental conditions. Contact Tesla if your car has not completed the calibration process after driving 100 miles (160 km).
Is there blind spot detection?
To improve safety and increase confidence when changing lanes, cars built since October 2016 will display a red lane line when your turn signal is engaged and a car or obstacle is detected in your target lane. This includes improved blind spot monitoring on the instrument panel which reflects the type of car in your blind spot, supplementing an already attentive driver.