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Which Cars Have Autopilot?

tesla-model-y-2021-01-angle--black--dynamic--exterior--front.jpg 2021 Tesla Model Y Autopilot | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

You may have heard of autopilot, a feature used for decades in aircraft. As it relates to cars, autopilot’s history includes brief reported circulation in the 1950s as a term for conventional cruise control. Today, such queries undoubtedly refer to Autopilot, a branded feature from Tesla that combines lane-centering steering with adaptive cruise control.

Related: Which Cars Have Autopilot for 2020?

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Tesla’s Autopilot dates back to October 2014, when the California automaker unveiled the driver-assist tech. Its name has proven controversial, since it still requires you to pay attention, keep your hands on the wheel and take over as necessary. Some high-profile crashes have involved drivers allowing Autopilot to drive the car with virtually no intervention. Tesla has since updated the system to shut off if it detects extended hands-free driving, but safety and consumer advocates still say its name is misleading.

Tesla’s Autopilot system originally employed both camera and radar technology for its adaptive cruise control, but the automaker has recently dropped the radars in its new Tesla Vision system. The system now only utilizes cameras and neural net processing, with all new Model 3 and Model Y vehicles featuring the radarless technology.

tesla-model-y-2021-16-cockpit-shot--dashboard--front-row--interior.jpg 2021 Tesla Model Y | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Four cars, all Teslas, offer Autopilot for 2021:

  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model X
  • Tesla Model Y

If you want an autopilot vehicle per se, only Tesla has it. But many other cars offer advanced driver-assistance features that rival — and in some cases exceed — Autopilot’s primary capabilities. Adaptive cruise control with lane-centering steering is widely available. Ninety-seven other models for 2021 offer both capabilities all the way down to a standstill in stop-and-go traffic:

  • Acura: TLX
  • Alfa Romeo: Giulia, Stelvio
  • Audi: A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, E-Tron, Q3, Q5, Q7, Q8
  • BMW: X3, X4
  • Ford: Bronco Sport, Edge, Escape, Explorer
  • Genesis: G80, G90, GV80
  • Hyundai: Elantra, Ioniq, Nexo, Palisade, Santa Fe, Sonata
  • Infiniti: QX50
  • Jeep: Grand Cherokee L
  • Kia: K5, Niro EV, Seltos, Sorento, Sportage, Telluride
  • Land Rover: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport
  • Lexus: ES, IS, LC, LS, NX, RX, UX
  • Lincoln: Aviator, Corsair, Nautilus
  • Maserati: Ghibli, Levante, Quattroporte
  • Mercedes-Benz: AMG-GT 4-Door, A-Class, C-Class, CLA-Class, CLS-Class, E-Class, GLA-Class, GLB-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, S-Class, SL-Class
  • Nissan: Altima, Leaf, Rogue, Rogue Sport
  • Polestar: Polestar 1, Polestar 2
  • Porsche: Cayenne, Taycan
  • Subaru: Ascent, Crosstrek, Forester, Legacy, Outback
  • Toyota: Camry, C-HR, Corolla, Highlander, Mirai, Prius, RAV4, Sienna, Venza
  • Volkswagen: Arteon, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, ID.4
  • Volvo: S60, S90, V60, V90, XC40, XC60, XC90

Note that for simplicity’s sake, we list just the root nameplates above. Related offshoots — the Corolla Hatchback or Corolla Hybrid from Toyota, for example, or the A4-based S4 from Audi — may also have such capabilities.

Caveats abound. The above capabilities require the right conditions — typically a divided highway with limited entry, in some cases intuited via GPS. And not all of the vehicles above offer such features as standard equipment. In many such cars, you’ll need to spend extra on optional features or trim levels. 

Thirteen model-year 2021 cars go beyond what’s above by offering systems that combine adaptive cruise control with true hands-free steering, which centers the car in certain highway conditions without the driver holding the wheel. All of them require you to pay attention and take over as necessary, intuited by a driver-facing camera that monitors you in real time.

  • BMW: 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, X5, X6, X7
  • Cadillac: CT4, CT5, CT6, Escalade
  • Ford: F-150, Mustang Mach-E
cadillac-escalade-super-cruise-2021-oem.jpg Cadillac Escalade Super Cruise | Manufacturer image

Hands-free lane-centering appears set for rapid proliferation. The number of vehicles available with the technology has nearly doubled in just one year. Ford offers the feature for the first time in the redesigned 2021 F-150 and all-electric Mustang Mach-E, while Cadillac expands its hands-free Super Cruise system to three additional models for 2021: the CT4, CT5 and the Escalade. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is the first vehicle from the Bow-Tie brand to offer the Super Cruise technology (Chevrolet, like Cadillac, is a division of GM). Meanwhile, Nissan plans to add hands-free steering to its new Ariya SUV.

As of this writing, Tesla’s Autopilot doesn’t offer hands-free capability. But that may change, as the automaker frequently tweaks the system’s capabilities through over-the-air updates in cars currently on the road.

With or without Autopilot or some variation thereof, no production vehicle can currently drive itself. The closest system to that reality was to be the Audi A8’s Traffic Jam Pilot system, which could putter along in low-speed traffic while you watched a video or played games with backseat passengers. But regulatory concerns halted the Traffic Jam Pilot’s debut, and now Audi has scrapped plans to launch the feature altogether, according to Automotive News.

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