Auto Pilot or Enhanced Auto Pilot (EAP) has its ups and downs. In the media, it often makes the headline implying that it was the machine that killed the driver. However, if used properly (can’t express this enough), it can be a godsend.
Fatal Tesla Autopilot crash driver had hands off wheel: U.S. agency https://t.co/jkzl74LLlw pic.twitter.com/BpWzAGzHv4
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 8, 2018
Tesla owner says Autopilot automatically regained control after sliding out-of-control on ice – video https://t.co/CopIQsMPQM by @fredericlambert pic.twitter.com/SH3Ov2vX0N
— Electrek.Co (@ElectrekCo) January 6, 2019
What is it?
EAP 2.5 (Read the differences between the updates) uses eight cameras that analyzes its surroundings in a 360 perspective and processes all that information in real time to make real decisions. When you’re on a highway on a Model 3, you can push the driver’s stalk up twice to engage the EAP. Once engaged, it will follow the lane, brake and speed based on the car in front of you, and change lanes with your confirmation. The newest beta feature, Nav on Auto Pilot, recommends the change of lines and even takes exits for you. When EAP is engaged, you can take over at any time. The easiest way to take over is to push the brake or take over the steering wheel. It’s important to keep in mind that all of these features are still being developed. It’s not recommended for you to use this feature in the city as the surroundings can be more complicated.
Auto Traction System
This technology is much more common in other cars which speed and brakes by using sensors. You can set the car limit and it will keep a certain distance between you and the car in front of you. This technology is actually available even if you don’t purchase the Enhanced Auto Pilot and it can be activated by pushing the driver’s stalk once.
This is only available in EAP and allows the car to steer even in curvy roads. This is automatically activated when you engage in EAP mode. I’ve done it in exits that are very loopy and it does a very good job although you need to be very careful.
With EAP, it sometimes gives you the option to Auto Park. This feature can do parallel parking or backing in. I’ve used it several times, but I find it easier to do it myself. It also makes me really nervous since it gets really close to other cars when backing in. If you use Auto Park and you hit something, it’s still your fault. The way it works is when the car senses two cars and there’s a space in between, it will display a “P” sign and you can press “Start” to engage the Auto Park feature. Then, you’ll just wait and pray that it will successfully park.
This is one of the coolest features and best used when showing off your Tesla. It allows you to control your car with your key fob or your phone to move your car up and down. Sometimes it will steer a little if it senses something. The only practical use of this was when someone parked very close to me and I was able to summon the car so I can get in. Other than that, it’s really for showing off.
Nav on Auto Pilot
This was introduced in late 2018. This enhances the current EAP by adding the ability to take exits and give advice on changing lanes to get to your destination the fastest. Even when you are in the passing lane, it will suggest you move over since it’s just a passing lane. The car itself won’t change lanes without your approval which you confirm by signaling to the direction of the lane change. The other big feature is the ability to take highway exits. Once it takes the exit, it will go out of the Nav on Auto Pilot mode by playing a ringtone reminding you to take over.
Originally called the Auto Pilot, I’m glad they officially changed the name to Enhanced Auto Pilot to clarify that it is not Full Self Driving which is also a feature that Tesla is currently developing. The FSD will allow you to get in the car, set your navigation and let the car drive from point A to point B. We’re not sure when this feature will be available as it has a lot of technological and regulatory hurdles.
Since driving a Tesla since July 2018, I can’t stress how comfortable it is traveling long distances with the Tesla Model 3. Part of why I think we get so tired when driving is because we’re making so many micro-decisions as we drive. EAP relieves some of that processing to the car. EAP is not perfect and it has some flaws, but I’m excited for it to improve through software and hardware updates.