What does Tesla Autopilot do?

Tesla is among the most technologically advanced cars on the market. Thanks to the autopilot advanced driver assistance system that makes it exceptional. But what is the work of Tesla Autopilot? 

Autopilot is a system that allows your Tesla to drive, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. However, this function is not fully autonomous at the moment as it needs active driver supervision. Nonetheless, the system is very convenient as it helps you with the most challenging parts of driving. 

Even though Tesla is not fully autonomous at the moment, all new Teslas come with the full self-driving hardware required in the future. This system is created to perform short and long-distance trips with no activity needed by the driver in the car. 

What is Tesla Autopilot?

Tesla Autopilot is the autonomous driver assistance system that Tesla comes with. It is the feature that enables your Tesla to see its environments, such as the cars, roads, objects, and people around it. After this feature surveys the surrounding area, it can drive itself up to a limited range. 

So, despite the Tesla Autopilot system is very useful, it’s limited in what it can do as it requires the help of a fully attentive driver to work properly. Without the control of a driver, things can go south really quickly and out of hand. However, Tesla plans to make its cars fully autonomous in the near future. 

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How does Tesla Autopilot work?

Before we discuss what Tesla Autopilot can do, it is important to understand that there is a basic Tesla Autopilot and enhanced Tesla Autopilot. Basic Tesla Autopilot is equipped on all new Teslas as a standard feature, while enhanced Tesla autopilot is provided in certain regions, such as the UK. 

The basic Tesla Autopilot works come with basic features that allow the car to accelerate, brake, and with minimal steering. The car accelerates up to a pre-set speed, brakes for pedestrians, and other cars, and steers to keep your car in its lane. 

Additionally, basic Tesla Autopilot is designed to assist you with the most challenging part of driving. For instance, when driving on highways or similar routes. Some of the additional features that basic autopilot comes with are blind-spot monitoring, emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and collision alerts. 

Despite offering all the above functions, the basic autopilot system does not provide autonomous driving. Nonetheless, it will control acceleration and braking, but the driver will be in charge of steering the car. 

On the contrary, the enhanced Autopilot system gives you the best of both basic and full-self driving features that we will discuss further below. Enhanced autopilot gives functions such as the auto park, summon, auto lane changing, and ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ function, but without a stop sign or traffic light option. 

For US drivers who want more than the basic Autopilot system, Tesla offers the full-self driving (FSD) system. Tesla owners will have to purchase this package for $10,000 to enjoy its features. What’s more, this system is equipped with more features than the basic autopilot function. 

The Tesla FSD boasts of features such as automatic lane changing that can manage merges, overtaking, and exits. Besides, it can also control ‘Navigate on Autopilot,’ but also recognize traffic lights and stop signs, which the enhanced autopilot cannot do. Other features include an auto parking system and a ‘summon’ feature.  

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What features make Autopilot possible?

Tesla comes with a lot of features that make autopilot possible. These include eight surround cameras that offer 360 degrees of visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. On top of that, it has 12 updated ultrasonic sensors that work together with the cameras, enabling the discovery of both objects around the car. 


What are some of the things that Tesla Autopilot can’t do? 

Now that you know what Tesla Autopilot does, it is also crucial to know what Tesla Autopilot can’t do. This system finds it difficult to notice cars in other lanes are not directly ahead of it. So, if a car in another lane stops or slows down, the Autopilot will slam on the brakes thinking it’s in its lane. 

Another situation where Autopilot isn’t accurate is detecting curves on the road. If a car is turning around a curve and your Tesla is right behind it, it may think that the car is turning across the road and it will also slam on the brakes immediately. It doesn’t matter whether the road is marked or not, it will stop. 

What is the difference between Tesla Autopilot and the enhanced pilot?

Tesla autopilot is the basic self-driving system that comes with all new Teslas. On the other hand, Tesla enhanced autopilot is only available in selective regions, such as the UK. On top of that, enhanced autopilot comes with additional features such as navigate on autopilot. 

Can you sleep in a Tesla while driving?

Even though Tesla has a self-driving system, it is not advisable to sleep in the car as it needs human control to work properly. If anything goes wrong, you may find yourself in trouble. However, you can let the car drive you on the highway and if you take a nap without knowing, the autopilot may save you for a limited range. 

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Is Tesla full self-driving worth it? 

If you drive long distances or on the highways, then the Tesla self-driving feature is worth it. This is because it will do most of the work for you as you relax and drive safely. Nevertheless, if you drive your Tesla in the city, the autopilot may not be very useful to you as you won’t have to apply it most of the time. 

What are the standard safety features on all Teslas? 

All new Tesla cars come with standard safety features to keep you safe and secure. Some of the standard features include side collision warning, automatic emergency braking, front collision warning, and auto high beams. 


In summary, Tesla autopilot is a system that enables the car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. However, this system needs an attentive driver to control the car as it is not fully autonomous yet. Nonetheless, the system simplifies the work of the driver by performing some tasks with minimal human intervention. 

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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