Autopilot and Tesla’s Full Self-Driving beta feature are also a major plus for relaxing on the road, some drivers said.
All Tesla models are equipped with the Autopilot feature, which enables a car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within its lane. The function does not replace the role of a driver, but is intended to make driving easier and cut down on accidents. Some drivers can also opt into Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software, a beta feature that costs $15,000 — or $199 per month — and allows the vehicle to change lanes, as well as recognize stop lights and stop signs.
Earlier this year, Model S owner Tim Heckman told Insider the driver assist features were a “lifesaver” on his 6,392-mile road trip.
“It can be a huge cognitive relief. Long trips can take a mental toll,” Heckman said at the time, noting that he’sd used Autopilot on previous road trips and discovered he could drive further without getting tired.
Zuga told Insider Autopilot is one of several features that he feels make road trips less stressful and safer in a Tesla.
“Driving that car is a lot less tiring than driving a gas vehicle because of all of the extra driver features like the cameras all around the car and Autopilot,” Zuga said. “I can put the blinker on and get a good look of the whole left side and behind and when I’m slowing down and regenerative braking kicks in and you know your tailights are on. It just gives you better situational awareness.”
But, not everyone is sold on the features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Autopilot and its potential connection to several accidents and the California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused the company of falsely advertising its Autopilot and FSD features.