Owners Perspective – The Current State of Tesla Autopilot

by Denis Gurskiy

It has been a few months since Tesla has released their Navigate on Autopilot feature. After using it for a substantial amount of time we wanted to get opinions of other Tesla owners regarding the feature.

For those unfamiliar, here is a short instructional video from Tesla about Navigate on Autopilot (NoA).

Long story short the most important aspect of the feature is allowing the car change lanes on its own, with confirmation. For the time being the car will make suggestions on what lane you should be in and ask you to confirm a lane change with the stalk. In the future, Tesla wants to allow the driver to waive the confirmation and allow the car to change lanes on its own.

This is a very big step, as it will be a feature that reaches into level 3 autonomy. The jump from level 2 to level 3 is a very big leap, as its the first time that driver is not required to be at attention at all times. With level 3 autonomy representing the start of drivers giving up some of their control to the car, it needs to be approached cautiously. Any misstep in the system could result in deaths and legislation slamming down any sort of autonomous progress.

With that in mind, when we tried Navigate on Autopilot we felt that it was no where near ready for a ‘no confirmation’ update. Thinking that maybe we had isolated incidents, we took to Reddit to see the opinions that other Tesla owners had about the feature. We started the thread with the following:

We’ve had a few generally scary encounters with Nav on Autopilot and would like to know where you all stand on its current state. Understanding that it is in beta, do you feel it is ready for the “no input” update Elon expressed on Twitter? Have you experienced any emergency takeovers? Would you trust the system to change lanes with no confirmation? Could you rate your confidence in the system on a scale from 1-5? Does the current state of Nav on Autopilot have you questioning Tesla’s FSD future?

Personally, I’m wary of Tesla’s FSD future after experiencing what would have been a couple of near misses if I were not paying attention. I’m aware Autopilot is a drivers convenience feature and requires eyes on the road at all times but NoA just feels wrong. I was a huge supporter of Autopilot, still am. But I wouldn’t dare compare NoAs current state to Autopilot. I feel like the current build of NoA is not polished enough to warrent a no confirmation update. But perhaps my expectations are set too high and you guys find that it works better for you?

The top rated comment had more so to do with remaining optimistic about the system, rather than the feature being ready today:

One owner did state that he would welcome a ‘no confirmations’ if her could:

And while there might be a sentiment that r/teslamotors might be biased for Tesla, there were some voiced their concerns with the system:

So after a search through the thread, it seems like Navigate on Autopilot is a split decision. However it does not seem like many would suggest that it is ready for a ‘no confirmation’ setting. I do want to point out that we do see the improvements that Tesla has made with the system and agree with the points of the top comment.  This article is no way a slight at Tesla, we just don’t want the ‘no confirmation’ feature to roll-out prematurely.

Every automaker will have to go through this jump (unless they start with a level 3 or higher autonomy from the get-go). At what point would you trust your car to make a decision without your permission? How flawless would a system have to be before you would trust it 100%?

What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below. If you want to see the full thread, its linked right here.

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