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Long Commutes: Has autopilot helped?


Mar 9, 2018
Los Angeles, CA
I live in SoCal and traffic gets heavy. My commute is only 35 miles but can take 1.5-2hrs each way. It is driving me insane and wondering if anyone with a Tesla can chime in on how much it has helped them to be on autopilot.
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May 10, 2016
My commute is 27 miles each way (approximately 40-80 minutes depending on if it is morning/afternoon/weather) and autopilot is a game changer. AP1 Handles stop and go traffic like a champ. Basically I get on the free way, move over to the leftmost lane, turn on autopilot, let it take over for about 20 miles, then take over to get to the exit ramp and drive a few miles to my destination.


Supporting Member
Mar 17, 2015
Lafayette, CA, USA
Yes! You can't go to sleep or read a book, but your mental workload is a lot less, in ways that are hard to describe unless you've actually lived with it. Even my old AP1 car is awesome in slow-and-go commute traffic. Definitely game-changing.



Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
Palmdale, CA
AP absolutely shines in stop and go traffic. We got stuck for hours on the 101 coming home from Pismo last year and AP made what would have been a nerve frazzling slog through 2.5 hours of stop and go into an easy "ride" where I was just sitting in the driver's seat with my feet off the pedals and hands in my lap (traffic was moving about 10mph or less). We rolled the windows down, opened the pano, turned the radio on and just chilled. It was very nice and probably the only time I didn't come out of a situation like that angry at the world.


Nov 3, 2016
My fellow Tesla owners have nicely articuled my own thoughts.

One unforgettable instance when autopilot was absolutely crucial was when my family and I were evacuating for hurricane Irma. I cannot express how helpful it was to have the car drive itself for the most part, it really took a good chunk of my stress away, and I definitely was not nearly as fatigued as I would have been with an ICE vehicle.


Apr 1, 2016
North NJ
I will agree, with AP2+ it's great as well BUT a little sluggish to resume from a stop. This requires you keep a foot near the "go" pedal to hurry it up and keep a uniform distance. I'm sure they'll have that last bit figured out at some point in the not-to-distant future, but what I'd REALLY like is if the follow distance setting #1 would keep maybe a half-car length in traffic not faster than 10-15mph, to avoid the temptation from others to dive in front of you. If they could just add that, the troublesome spots of my daily commute could be a totally hands-off experience! :D


Sep 29, 2011
San Diego
I have a 100 mile commute (once a week) each way, from San Diego to Ontario on the 15. I use the auto-steer on my Model 3 for nearly the entire time. I love it... truly a game changer for long commutes.
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Feb 8, 2018
NYC Metro
100 Miles a day between Sarasota and Tampa, 99% highway in my AP2 X100D. Total game changer. I also wish there was a setting lower than one on the drive distance to prevent the dive-bombers....
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Let’s go Brandon!
Apr 11, 2017
I commute 185 miles once a week. At least 170 miles is handled by AP 2.5. Since the 10.4 update I don't have to intervene at all . . . except for when a coyote ran out in front of me yesterday, I did panic brake then as the car ignored the dog.


Sep 28, 2017
Pittsburg, CA
Freeways, Stop and Go - Definitely.
Local Roads - long stretches where no turning in intersections or stopping for signals/stop signs required - Yes

Word of caution: No matter where you intend to use autopilot, please pay attention to the traffic and be ready to make corrective actions if need be.
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Always roaming
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2014
in the moment
Can really mean do you stop for the night or can you make it. The cumulative effects of driving can make one tired after a long day at wheel. Autopilot reduces that keeping me alert much longer. Also keeps my caffeine intake lower as back in non autopilot world I would have to consume great amounts to keep tip top alertness for long drives. Pull into a hotel and try to sleep. Just not happening even if tired for me. I have pulled 24 hours with other driver. Done same route in 24 hours with no autopilot. Just night and day.

Here is my 24 hours.

24 hours of Model S Just flawless performance and comfort


Jun 24, 2016
South San Francisco
AP is a huge help, especially if you are not a morning person, like me! :)
I commute 29 miles each way, and 27 of those are on the 280 freeway (30-90min, depending on time of day/traffic). Granted, this is probably the most Tesla-traveled stretch of freeway in the world, so I am somewhat spoiled. I can drink my coffee, listen to podcasts, or take conference calls without having to be quite as laser focused on the traffic. I try to stay in the 2nd or 3rd lane (out of 4 lane highway) so that I'm not slowing down those who want to zoom by in the fast lane, and to avoid the merge lane.
As others have mentioned, when you come to a complete standstill and the Tesla gets very close to the car in front of you, you may go into HOLD mode, and need to tap the throttle to get the car to move again. But you can see HOLD on the display, so as long as you're not totally spaced out, this is not really an issue. Can't wait to get the latest firmware update for my AP2 to experience the latest improvements in lane keeping.
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Jun 7, 2017
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
I live in SoCal and traffic gets heavy. My commute is only 35 miles but can take 1.5-2hrs each way. It is driving me insane and wondering if anyone with a Tesla can chime in on how much it has helped them to be on autopilot.

I’ll put it this way. Autopilot has been so much of a game-changer for me for my commute that when I bring my Model X in for service, I will accept nothing other than a Tesla-owned loaner with Autopilot activated.


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