Tesla Autopilot is an advanced driver-assistance system feature offered by Tesla that has lane centering, adaptive cruise control, self-parking, the ability to automatically change lanes, and the ability to summon the car to and from a garage or parking spot.
As an upgrade to the base Autopilot's capabilities, the company's stated intent is to offer full self-driving (FSD) at a future time, acknowledging that legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles must be overcome to achieve this goal.
Autopilot is typically used on highways, for example, where driving conditions are simpler than surface streets. And Tesla's are generally newer vehicles, giving them a leg up in terms of safety when compared to the range of other, sometimes much older vehicles contributing to the accidents recorded by the NHTSA.
Autopilot arguably has another advantage, too: if a Tesla with Autopilot engaged makes a mistake, the human driver can quickly take over the controls to avoid catastrophe.
In fact, driving is one of the most dangerous things most adults do. It killed 40,000 Americans last year and 1.4 million people globally.
Whether you love it or hate it, cars will inevitably become more and more autonomous over time. The autopilot is not perfect yet, but it is very useful as a form of car safety.
We can often come across stories that tell us about incidents in which the autopilot was able to prevent an accident. Below you can see the videos in which, thanks to Tesla's autopilot, the car escaped accidents with sad consequences.
Tesla Autopilot saves lifes and predicts accidents ! Top Tesla Autopilot Compilation video : pic.twitter.com/pNjVEvlq6x— Tesla_saves_lives (@SavedTesla) July 17, 2019
Emergency braking saved @TeslaOwnersNEUS a second time now : " I honestly wasn’t sure where this guy was going in the video, but luckily I didn’t hit him and the car behind me missed me." pic.twitter.com/Np6IjYzXL2— Tesla_saves_lives (@SavedTesla) November 4, 2019
Autopilot saves this owner from being run by a massive horse trailer : pic.twitter.com/BS129s9y9H— Tesla_saves_lives (@SavedTesla) November 4, 2019
Tesla requires drivers to monitor the vehicle at all times, just as the Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to monitor aircraft on autopilot.
Autopilot alerts the driver under various circumstances, such as a surprising situation on the road or excessive inattention by the driver. If the driver dismisses three audio warnings within an hour, Autopilot is disabled until the car is parked. This is to prevent experienced drivers from excessive reliance on built-in safety features. At speeds under 8 mph on divided highways, Autopilot functions indefinitely without the driver's hands on the wheel. Under 45 mph free hands are allowed for five minutes, unless the car detects lateral acceleration. Above 45 mph free hands are allowed for three minutes if following another vehicle or one minute without following a car.
A human pilot is unreliable, and evidenced of this is a 1.4 million people died as a result of car accidents last year. An autopilot can save millions of lives and make car use safer than it is now. Thanks to Tesla's Autopilot, thousands of lives have already been saved. Do not forget about it!
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.