Tesla Autopilot is a driver assistance feature which, when used properly, can reduce your overall workload as a driver. This’ll help you to drive as safely as possible, and keep your pride and joy in tip-top condition.

There are two Autopilot packages available from Tesla: Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving Capability. Their features and how to use them are listed below, but remember that they require active driver supervision at all times and do not make the vehicle autonomous. 

Before using any Tesla Autopilot features, you should read your Owner's Manual for instructions and more safety information.

Note: Many of Tesla’s 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.

Autopilot

  • Traffic-Aware Cruise Control: 

What is it? 

Your Tesla will match your speed to that of the surrounding traffic.

How do you do it?

To engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control in your Model S or Model X, pull down once on the cruise control stalk on the left of the steering column. In your Model 3, pull down once on the gear selector stalk on the right of the steering column.

  • Autosteer:

What is it?

Your Tesla will steer itself to remain in the lane you’re currently driving in.

How do you do it?

To engage Autosteer in your Model S or Model X, pull down twice on the cruise control stalk on the left of the steering column. In your 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.

Full Self-Driving Capability

  • Navigate on Autopilot: 

What is it?

This feature actively guides your Tesla from a motorway on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating exits, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit.

How do you do it?

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. You can also activate Navigate on Autopilot automatically any time a destination is entered and Autopilot is engaged by adjusting your Navigate on Autopilot settings from Controls > Autopilot > Customise Navigate on Autopilot.

In your Model 3, Navigate on Autopilot can be engaged by moving the gear lever twice downwards, in quick succession.

In your Model S or Model X, Navigate on Autopilot can be engaged by pulling the cruise stalk toward you, twice in quick succession.

  • Auto Lane Change: 

What is it?

Your Tesla will automatically move to an adjacent lane on the motorway when Autosteer (detailed in the ‘Autopilot’ section above) is engaged.

How do you do it?

To initiate an automated lane change, you must first enable Auto Lane Changes through the Autopilot Controls menu within the Settings tab. Then when Autosteer is engaged, just engage your turn signal in the direction that you’d like to move.

  • Autopark: 

What is it?

Your Tesla will automatically parallel or perpendicular park your Tesla, with a single touch.

How do you do it?

To enable Autopark your Tesla 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.


  • The “Summon” and “Smart Summon” features of Autopilot enable you to control your Tesla remotely. Please note that you are not covered for any incidents that happen whilst you are not in the driver’s seat of your car, so we don’t recommend you use these. (See our FAQ, Am I still insured when driving my Tesla using Autopilot?)


Additional Active Safety Features

In addition to the above, there are a number of active safety features that come standard on all Tesla models made after September 2014. These features include:

  1. Automatic Emergency Braking - Your Tesla will detect obstacles that the car may impact and will apply the brakes accordingly to prevent a collision.
  2. Front Collision Warning - Your Tesla will warn you of impending collisions with slower moving or stationary cars using an audible alarm.
  3. Side Collision Warning - Your Tesla will warn you of potential collisions with obstacles alongside the car using an audible alarm.
  4. Obstacle Aware Acceleration - Your Tesla will automatically reduce acceleration when an obstacle is detected in front of you while driving at low speeds.
  5. Blind Spot Monitoring - Your Tesla will warn you when a car or obstacle is detected when changing lanes.
  6. Lane Departure Avoidance - Your Tesla will apply corrective steering to keep your car in the intended lane.
  7. Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance - Your Tesla will steer your car back into the driving lane if it detects that you are departing your lane and there could be a collision.

Remember, you’re responsible for the driving of your car at all times. You should always keep your eyes on the road and be prepared to take over the driving if you need to.

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