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Tesla driver discovers new ‘Autopilot isn’t on, idiot’ safety feature

A Tesla driver has discovered an interesting new Autopilot safety feature that he dubbed ‘Autopilot isn’t on, idiot’ to help people who mistakenly think that they activated the driver assist feature.

In order to activate Tesla’s two main Autopilot features, Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control, the driver needs to pull down on the Autopilot lever on the right side of the steering wheel twice when the option is available.

Autosteer is not always available based on the road and driving conditions.

When it is available, a steering wheel icon appears on the instrument cluster side of the screen next to the Autopilot rendering of your vehicle:

Once Autosteer is activated, the same steering wheel icon becomes blue and now the vehicle is automatically steering:

There’s also a chime that lets you know Autopilot is active, but sometimes the activation can fail for a number of reasons.

Tesla owner and Redditor u/ENrgStar found an interesting feature to help those who don’t realize that their activation of Autopilot failed.

He described the feature which he jokingly dubbed ‘Autopilot isn’t on, idiot’:

I was driving today and tried to enable autopilot on a back road without lines and it rejected me. Right after I started to drift a little too close to the edge of the road and my Model 3 screeched at me and jerked the car back into the middle of the lane. It appears to address an edge case where a driver tried to engage autopilot, and it can’t engage, but then the driver somehow thinks it IS engaged and lets the car drive and it starts drifting. The car reacts by drastically jerking you back into line and yelling at you as if to so “NO… I said I’m NOT driving for you!”

He was able to capture the safety feature in action in this quick video:

Electrek’s Take

That’s a great safety feature. I have often attempted and failed to activate Autosteer when I see it available with the icon, but it disappears by the time I reach for the lever.

I’ve always realized due to the different sounds it makes, but I can totally see how someone could miss it.

Technically, the feature shouldn’t be that useful because even if you think Autopilot is activated, you should keep your hands on the steering wheel and stay vigilant, which would prevent this situation from happening in the first place, but it still good to know it’s there.

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