top of page

How to activate Tesla Autopilot on a Model Y: A Detailed Guide

Credit Tesla: Model Y Performance in black

The Tesla Autopilot allows you to drive your Tesla Model Y and any other Tesla very conveniently, especially over long distances. To activate the Tesla Autopilot you just have to know a few simple steps which we will explain to you in this Guide.

Before you can use the Autopilot while driving you have to enable the function within the settings. To do this the driver has to ensure, that the Tesla Model Y is in the parking position. Once this is all done you just navigate to the Autopilot menu in the settings. There you can find the option "Enable Autopilot", once activated you can use the Autopilot while driving in your car.

Keep in mind, that the Autopilot can take over some of your driving, for example driving at the same speed for long distances is an easy task, but you nevertheless have to keep your full attention to traffic. It is mandatory to also have at least one hand at the steering wheel.

With all this information in mind, we will look into further details you need to know about the Autopilot in your Tesla Model Y.

Understanding Tesla Autopilot

Credit Tesla: Model Y

The Tesla Autopilot is an advanced assistance system, that is designed to help you as a driver in many situations while driving. It is not a system that can take over driving without you paying any attention to the street.

The Autopilot is a combination of cameras, sensors, and radar, which helps the car to detect any objects around your car. With this, the car receives feedback that the driver can use. We will further discuss the features of the Autopilot and the safety precautions that you as a driver have to take while using this Autopilot.

Features of Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot has several features that are designed to make driving easier and safer. These features include:

  • Autosteer: This feature allows the car to steer itself within a lane on the highway. It uses the cameras and sensors to detect the lane markings and other vehicles on the road. The driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel and be prepared to take over control at any time.

  • Navigate on Autopilot: This feature allows the car to navigate on the highway from on-ramp to off-ramp. It suggests lane changes, navigates interchanges and takes the correct exit. The driver must confirm all suggested actions before the car executes them.

  • Auto Lane Change: This feature assists the driver in moving to an adjacent lane on the highway when Autosteer is engaged. The driver must activate the turn signal to initiate the lane change.

  • Summon: This feature allows the driver to remotely move the car in and out of tight parking spaces using a smartphone app. The driver must be within 200 feet of the car and have a clear line of sight to use this feature.

Safety Precaution

Credit Tesla: Model Y Interior

While Tesla Autopilot is designed to make driving easier and safer, drivers must still take certain safety precautions when using it. These precautions include:

  • Keep Your Hands on the Wheel: The driver must keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times when using Autosteer. This ensures that they are ready to take over control if necessary.

  • Pay Attention to the Road: The driver must remain alert and pay attention to the road at all times. They should not rely solely on Autopilot to detect hazards or avoid collisions.

  • Be Prepared to Take Over Control: The driver must be prepared to take over control of the car at any time. They should not rely on Autopilot to handle all driving situations.

By following these safety precautions and using Tesla Autopilot responsibly, drivers can enjoy the benefits of this advanced driver assistance system while staying safe on the road as long as they have full attention on the car driving.

Activating Tesla Autopilot on Tesla Model Y Initial Setup

Credit Tesla: Model Y in whit

Before activating the Autopilot feature on a Tesla Model Y, the driver must ensure that the vehicle is equipped with the necessary hardware to support the feature, which should be no problem, as all current Tesla Model Y has the newest features built in.

The Autopilot hardware suite includes eight cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and a forward-facing radar. These sensors work together to provide a 360-degree view of the vehicle's surroundings. It is important to note, that not all cars have ultrasonic sensors anymore, and with Tesla Vision, many cars operate purely with cameras.

Depending on which date you bought, just check the Tesla Handbook and you can find more details about when the ultrasonic sensors were moved out of the cars in 2022.

Once the hardware is confirmed, the driver must enable the Autopilot feature by going to the Autopilot Controls menu within the Settings tab on the Model Y's touchscreen. The driver must agree to the terms and conditions, which include keeping hands on the steering wheel at all times and maintaining control and responsibility for the vehicle.

Operating Procedure

Credit Tesla: Model Y in black

After activating the Autopilot feature, the driver can engage it by pulling the Autopilot stalk towards them twice. The vehicle will then take control of the steering, acceleration, and braking, allowing the driver to relax and enjoy the ride. However, it is important to note again that the Autopilot feature is not a fully autonomous driving system. The driver must still pay attention to the road and be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. The Autopilot feature is designed to assist the driver and make driving safer and more enjoyable. In addition, the Autopilot feature has some limitations and may not work in all driving situations. For example, the feature may not work well in heavy rain, snow, or fog. The driver needs to be aware of these limitations and use the Autopilot feature responsibly. Overall, activating the Autopilot feature on a Tesla Model Y is a simple process that can greatly enhance the driving experience. By following the initial setup and operating procedures, drivers can enjoy the benefits of this advanced driving assistance feature while staying safe on the road.


If you do enjoy our content, don't hesitate to share your experience on E-Car-Review and help other EV buyers get a better understanding of what to expect. For more content on your Tesla Model Y, we do have several more suggestions, that will help you to solve issues or use features correctly:

12 views0 comments

Not yet part of the newsletter?

Stay up to date! Don't miss any article about electric mobility.
A summary awaits you about once a week.

Nearly done! We have sent you an email. Confirm your email address.

bottom of page