Is Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot Worth It?

The first self-driving car model was created by General Motors in 1939, laying the foundation for the concept of automated driving.

The steering wheel of the 1958 model car was able to be rotated left and right through sensors.

A wide range of research and testing had been conducted on the technology necessary for automated driving by the early 2000s.

Is Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot worth it

Following the introduction of Tesla’s Autopilot in 2014, automated driving technology has advanced significantly in the following years.

Recently, Tesla began offering an optional extra for around $5000 called Enhanced Autopilot, which offers a more advanced driver assistance system.

Our comparison of Tesla Autopilot and the latest Enhanced Autopilot for Australian drivers is provided below.

What is Enhanced Autopilot (EAP)?

The Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) software upgrades your vehicle with all Full Self Drive (FSD) features except Auto Steer on City Streets and Traffic and Stop Sign Control.  

What is Enhanced Autopilot (EAP)

Enhanced Autopilot includes:

  • Auto Lane Change
  • When the driver engages the turn signal, the auto lane change function automatically switches to the adjacent lane. When the driver signals to change lanes with this feature, the vehicle will move to the new lane as soon as possible, while remaining on autopilot. 
  • Navigate on Autopilot (still in Beta)
    The Highway Guidance feature enhances Auto Lane Change by providing information about lane changes, interchanges and on- and off-ramps to drivers. A touchscreen can, for instance, recommend which lane and off-ramp to take when approaching an exit. With just the turn signal, you will be able to move into the correct lane and exit the vehicle. 
  • Autopark
    In Autopark, you can park your car parallel to the road or perpendicular to it. You will see the Auto Park option appear on your touchscreen as soon as your vehicle recognizes an available parking space. Select the parking option and sit back while the vehicle parks itself. 
  • Summon
    When summoned into tight spaces, the vehicle moves in and out of them. You can control your vehicle with the mobile app by moving forward and reversing it. 
  • Smart Summon
    Your vehicle can be summoned to you when you are nearby using Smart Summon. You will be able to be found by the vehicle by navigating around objects and complex environments. 

What is Tesla Autopilot and how does it work?

In addition to the Autopilot system, Tesla offers two other advanced driver assistance features: Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (adaptive cruise control), which control braking, acceleration, and steering.

The driver must, however, pay attention to the way the car behaves and maintain control at all times.

Advanced versions of Autopilot use cameras and other sensors to detect lane markings, surrounding vehicles, and on-road objects, enabling such features as self-parking and automated navigation.

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The settings of the vehicle can be customized to adjust Autopilot features. You can set the vehicle speed at a given percent of the speed limit (e.g. 95%), offset every speed limit by a fixed amount (e.g. -5km/h), or offset every speed limit by a fixed amount (e.g. -5km/h).

It works by continuously learning from previous actions and analyzing the environment as inputs, then making decisions based on the outputs.

Autopilot, according to Tesla owner Amy, has made her feel safer behind the wheel because it recognizes objects on the road rapidly, keeps a safe following distance, brakes quickly, reduces traffic fatigue, and gives her a constant safe following distance.

In what ways does Tesla Enhanced Autopilot work?

Enhanced Autopilot, Tesla’s additional autopilot feature, was relaunched in 2022 and can be added to vehicles for roughly $5100 (in Australia).

The Tesla Autopilot Enhanced can handle more complex driving situations, and it includes the following features:

  • With Autopilot, you can navigate freeway interchanges from one on-ramp to another, changing lanes based on traffic speeds;
  • When overtaking on highways, it is useful to have automatic lane change;
  • For parallel or perpendicular parking, autopark is activated by a single touch;
  • It moves the car forward out of tight spaces by summoning;
  • You can use Smart Summon up to 46m away and the car will ‘find’ you.

Enhanced Autopilot’s automated lane changes, activated by the turn signal, are the most noticeable difference between the two systems in terms of driving experience.

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However, Amy noted that the standard Autopilot is sufficient for her regular traffic driving, considering the cost of the upgraded Enhanced Autopilot is approximately $5100. Even though Enhanced Autopilot offers additional features geared toward more complex driving scenarios, she does not consider it necessary for her regular traffic driving.

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How does Tesla Autopilot differ from Enhanced Autopilot?

There is no doubt that neither of these systems is fully autonomous, and we are actually categorizing them both as SAE Level 2 out of 5 (as is the dubiously named Full Self-Driving). An overview of each level of autonomy is given below:

  • Level 0: The system may issue warnings (e.g. blind-spot alerts) but has no sustained control over the vehicle.
  • Level 1: The driver shares control with the vehicle (e.g. adaptive cruise control, driver steering). Assistants who help with lane-keeping fall under Level 1.
  • Level 2: Drivers are required to hold the steering wheel and be prepared to intervene at any time when the vehicle stops, accelerates, and steers.
  • Level 3:Taking time away from driving can be done safely, but the driver must be prepared to intervene once the vehicle demands it.
  • Level 4: As long as the driver pays attention to the road, they can sleep, change seats, or even go on vacation. This is only possible under certain conditions and in certain locations. Vehicles must be capable of safely aborting trips, such as stopping and parking.
  • Level 5: Under no circumstances is intervention necessary (“steering wheel optional ”).

There are several features in both systems that are intended for a driver who is fully attentive – both hands need to remain on the steering wheel and control should be maintained at all times.

In essence, the additional features of enhanced Autopilot are just extended uses of the standard Autopilot features, which explains why both systems are classified as SAE Level 2. There was nothing new in Enhanced Autopilot, since low-speed summoning and auto-parking used to be part of standard Autopilot.

According to Amy, when driving in regular traffic, both systems work equally well, and when changing lanes on the highway, she instinctively checks her blind spot, so Enhanced Autopilot is not of interest to her.

It is primarily through its Navigate on Autopilot and Auto Lane Change features that Enhanced Autopilot contributes to progressing toward Level 5 automation. In these systems, billions of data points from human driving behaviors are processed to determine how the car should behave.

Developing software that works in increasingly complex situations, such as taking side streets to avoid traffic to four-way intersections, might be possible for Tesla engineers if they understand how to have cars operate fully on motorways, including on-ramps, off-ramps, and lane changes.

Is it possible to upgrade the Autopilot system on my Tesla?

In addition to advanced hardware, Tesla cars are equipped with eight cameras that offer 360-degree coverage and are capable of capturing images 250 metres away. In addition to the front and rear cameras, there is a camera on the side of the car as well.

Onboard computer Hardware 3 processes 40 times the data of the preceding system, enabling the driver to keep a better awareness of every aspect of the vehicle.

Is it possible to upgrade the Autopilot system on my Tesla

As owners of vehicles built before September 2014 do not have the hardware required to upgrade, they cannot upgrade to the current systems.

The hardware in vehicles manufactured from September 2014 to October 2016 has been designed for the first generation of vehicles and cannot be upgraded. Where compatible, the Tesla app can be used to purchase Autopilot software for cars without the software.

According to owner Amy, when it came to evaluating the differences between Autopilot types, the marginal benefit (to her) of the features of Enhanced Autopilot outweighed the cost of about $5100.

What is the cost of Enhanced Autopilot?

Tesla Enhanced Autopilot Price

In addition to the price of $6,000 USD, the enhanced Autopilot will also cost $7,800 Canadian, £3,400 British Pounds, and $5,100 Australian. Through the Tesla app, you can purchase it:

Upgrades > Software Updates > Enhanced Autopilot

It will only take a few minutes for your vehicle to receive the EAP upgrade.

What is the safety of Tesla Autopilot?

Australia currently does not allow drivers to drive fully automated vehicles on the road; however, Autopilot will assist them when they keep both hands on the wheel.

Because both systems are designed to provide assistance to the driver, the driver plays a crucial role in both.

In order to prevent the Autopilot from being impacted by surroundings, the driver must keep the cameras clean and clear of obstacles.

Drivers must be alert and anticipate these mistakes when using Navigate on Autopilot, even when the navigation route directs them to exit off-ramps or change lanes.

A flashing light will appear if the vehicle does not detect hands on the steering wheel after a set amount of time. If hand contact is not detected, a turning force will be needed to resume normal operation.

In order to ensure drivers are aware of how to intervene, the situations that may call for intervention, and information on how to use autopilot safely, Tesla provides several warnings and guidelines on its website.

Is Tesla planning to develop autonomous vehicles in the future?

There have been delays, regulatory investigations and hype surrounding Tesla’s approach to automated driving and marketing.

Tesla, on the other hand, is leading technological innovation by using a combination of hardware and software, including artificial intelligence, neural networks, cameras, and sensors, in order to enable its cars to become more autonomous.

In addition to fast-moving innovation, continual software updates, a well-controlled supply chain, and reliable hardware, Tesla also has a competitive advantage in fast-moving innovation. Competitors in the automotive industry, including Toyota, are using Tesla’s Gigacasting technology for performance improvements and cost reductions.

Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot will be further developed into Level 5 systems, whereas Full Self-Driving is at Level 2 and still a beta program.

A recent demonstration of Elon Musk’s FSD Volume 12 showed off features such as traffic and stop sign control, as well as auto steering.

In addition to improved safety, greater mobility, more convenience, and a more relaxed journey, self-driving technology could benefit Australian roads mentally as well.

It is essential to continue conducting trials to identify how vehicles interact with other road users, objects, and pedestrians on Australian roads.

A transition to automated vehicles will be challenged by regulatory frameworks, legislative changes, and additional infrastructure requirements.

What is the value of Tesla Enhanced Autopilot?

The choice between standard Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot should be based on the reader’s driving needs and preferences, especially since you may be spending more than $5000 on something you may not really use.

Finally, there are many misconceptions surrounding systems such as these, which are only an assistant to in-control drivers (including full autonomy).

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) the same as Full Self-Driving (FSD)?

Full Self Drive premium software upgrade offers some of the features of Enhanced Autopilot, but not all. A number of features are included in EAP, including Auto Lane Change, Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon. As well as these features, FSD includes traffic and stop sign control on city streets and autosteering on city streets (both in beta).

What is the difference between (Basic) Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot?

All Tesla vehicles come with basic Autopilot. The vehicle maintains a steady lane center with automatic steering. Additionally, it follows speed limits and maintains a safe distance from other vehicles. An upgraded version of Autopilot includes features like Auto Lane Change, Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon.

How do I get Enhanced Autopilot?

By using your vehicle’s touchscreen or the Tesla app, you can purchase Enhanced Autopilot.

Do all Teslas come with Enhanced Autopilot?

There is no standard feature for Tesla vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot, it is a software upgrade.

Do I still have to touch the steering wheel every 30 to 40 seconds like regular autopilot?

During Beta testing, Tesla will alert you that your hands must remain on the steering wheel while using Autopilot and Navigate on Autopilot. In order to monitor if the driver is paying attention, the vehicle checks for slight movement every 30 to 40 seconds. If the steering wheel is not touched, a warning is displayed on the touchscreen.  

Can I add Full Self Drive later?  

You will only be charged the difference between Full Self Drive and Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) if you purchase Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) first.

Does Enhanced Autopilot stop at red lights?

Red lights or stop signs are not stopped by Enhanced Autopilot. Stop signs and traffic signals are only recognized and obeyed by the Full Self Driving upgrade.

If I sell my car, does Enhanced Autopilot transfer to the new owner?

It remains with the car – not its owner – just like the Full Self Driving upgrade.

How do I check what Autopilot software I have?

To find out what configuration you have, use the touchscreen on your vehicle. You can confirm the type of autopilot computer by selecting Controls> Software. Select Additional Vehicle Information from the menu.

How do I know when Basic Autopilot (autosteer) is active?

Almost every Tesla vehicle is equipped with basic Autopilot. You will see blue highlights in the lane you are in when Basic Autopilot is on, which indicates autosteer is engaged. 

How do I know when Navigate on Autopilot is active?

A single blue line will appear on the touchscreen when Navigate on Autopilot is enabled; the lanes won’t appear blue as with Basic Autopilot.

Is Tesla the only car with Autopark?

Tesla is not the only company that offers Autopark. Other automobile manufacturers use this feature as well.


In summary, Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot offers enhanced convenience and safety features with enhanced automotive technology. Tesla owners may not be able to fully enjoy its autonomous capabilities just yet, but its benefits outweigh its costs.

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