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  • Writer's pictureCarwam

TESLA Cars with Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

Are you planning on buying a TESLA car? If you have purchased or planning on purchasing any of the TESLA models, below are some useful features and functionalities you should know about before getting any TESLA car.

What is an Autopilot?

Autopilot is an advanced driver assistance system that helps you drive safely, improve your convenience and reduce your overall workload. All Tesla vehicles are equipped with eight externally mounted cameras that work in conjunction with the car’s advanced computer system to provide a new level of safety. Model 3 and Model Y, built for European and Middle Eastern markets, will now utilize Tesla Vision—a camera-based system that does not use radar but instead relies on cameras to deliver Autopilot features.

How about the Full Self-driving (FSD) capability?

Tesla FSD or Full Self-driving Capability is an all functionality of basic autopilot, and enhanced autopilot. Additionally, the system identifies stop signs and traffic lights and slows down the car on approach.

TESLA Cars Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability Features


  • Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. Keeps you at the same speed as other cars on the road around you.

  • Autosteer. The lane-assist system keeps your car in the center of its lane, and traffic-aware cruise control maintains a safe following distance from other vehicles.

Enhanced Autopilot

  • Auto-Lane Change. When the driver signals a lane change, it helps to move the car into an adjacent lane.

  • Navigate on Autopilot. With Active Lane Change, you not only get the guidance provided by Auto Lane Change but also suggestions for lane changes as well as navigation through interchanges.

  • Autopark. Help you park your car, either parallel or perpendicular.

  • Summon. The app will guide you through a maneuver that allows you to park or retrieve your car from a tight space.

  • Smart Summon. Your car will be able to drive more complex routes and find its way into parking spaces by avoiding obstacles if necessary.

Full Self-Driving Capability

  • All functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot.

  • Traffic and Stop Sign Control. Identifies stop signs and traffic lights, and then it slows your car to a complete stop when you're approaching one of them.

  • Autosteer on city streets (upcoming). The Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving features are enabled only when a driver is present in the vehicle. These systems do not make the car fully autonomous. Full autonomy will be achieved once the systems have been demonstrated to work reliably and are accepted as legal by governments.

Reminders Before Using Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability

  • Read your Owner's Manual for instructions and more safety information.

  • You should be alert, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times, and maintain control of your vehicle. To use Autopilot, the driver must first agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.” Each time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded to “keep your hands on the wheel."

  • Autopilot, Navigate on Autopilot and Summon are all disabled by default. In order to use them, go to the Settings tab and turn it on.

  • More notes before using the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability Features.

TESLA Cars Active Safety Features

Active safety features are designed to help drivers stay safe, but they can't help you in every situation. It's the driver's responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the car at all times.

All Tesla vehicles made after September 2014 come standard with active safety features for added protection at all times. Autopilot includes hardware and software that enables these features:

Automatic Emergency Braking

The car's computer system detects other cars or large obstacles and applies the brakes to avoid a collision.

Forward Collision Warning

Alerts you to slow-moving or stopped cars ahead.

Side Collision Warning

The system alerts the driver when an obstacle is in close proximity or alongside the vehicle.

Obstacle-Aware Acceleration

Reduces your car's speed when it senses that an obstacle is detected in front of your car while driving at low speeds.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Alerts you to vehicles or obstacles when changing lanes.

Lane Departure Avoidance

Automatically monitors the car's position and applies corrective steering when necessary to keep you in your lane.

Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance

Steers your car back into the driving lane when it detects that your car is straying out of its lane.


Do all Tesla Cars have Autopilot?

As of April 2019, all new Tesla cars include Autopilot, which includes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer.

If your vehicle does not have Autopilot software but is equipped with the necessary hardware, you can purchase Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, or Full Self-Driving Capability at any time through your Tesla Account. The necessary software will be added to your car.

How does TESLA Autopilot work?

As of April 2022, Tesla Vision will be available on Model 3 and Model Y built for the European and Middle Eastern markets. It utilizes Tesla's advanced suite of cameras and neural net processing to deliver Autopilot features. This provides awareness of their surroundings that help make driving safer and less stressful.

Do I still need to pay attention while in Autopilot?

Yes. Autopilot is a driver assistance system intended to be used only when the driver is fully engaged and aware of the surroundings. It does not turn a Tesla into an autonomous vehicle, nor does it make one self-driving.

To use Autopilot, the driver must first agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” and to always “maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle.” Each time a driver engages Autopilot, they are reminded to “keep your hands on the wheel."

What's the latest news on Full Self-Driving Vehicles?

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the new law banning the advertising of fully self-driving vehicles. The law goes into effect in 2023.

Citing a new law, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk informing him that the company would no longer be able to advertise its vehicles as having "full self-driving (FSD tesla) capability." That's because the new law defines autonomous vehicles as those that are capable of driving themselves without human assistance at all times, and Tesla's Autopilot system does not meet this definition.

This is the second time in recent weeks that California legislators have explicitly targeted Tesla's Autopilot feature. The first was a bill that banned drivers from sleeping behind the wheel.

These features are just the tip of the iceberg. With so many technology companies working on improving and adding new features, it will be interesting for car buyers to see what kind of new developments we'll see in this area in the future.

Hopefully, we've inspired you to consider a Tesla. But don't take our word for it—give it a try and see how you feel. You might even start noticing some positive changes in your driving experience. Plus, there's no time like the present to begin your journey towards a more eco-friendly future.



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