Tesla Autopilot 0.5 Review

3 months ago by Michael Beinenson 13

Michael’s Tesla Model S and Autopilot 0.5 Reveiw

We often hear about Tesla’s Autopilot as the next technological achievement that will eventually provide full autonomy in our daily drive. But since we have to wait a little while before AP2.0 gathers the strength to do that, there is another version of Autopilot (lets call it AP0.5) that is really neglected as a tech marvel. No it is not some prototype vehicle that was accidentally sold to the public and got listed on eBay.

Every Tesla with either AP1.0 or AP2.0 hardware has it. Tesla calls it: Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC).

Tesla ACC Heads-Up

I recently took a trip from Atlanta, Georgia to Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and although Tesla’s Nav was suggesting going through South Carolina and doing a Super Charge, I made a decision to cut through with the use my CHAdeMO adapter and save some miles.

The road required going through few Georgia Mountains and not on really divided highways. I am confident in certain aspects of AP’s abilities, but my personal rule is not to engage it on non-divided highways. So instead of moving the AP stalk twice I did it once and thought I would be in a normal Active Cruise Control (or however else it is called) as I have had it on other cars. If there is a car in front of you, the vehicle slows down, if it there is space it vehicle accelerates to a desired speed. Well, I was wrong. TACC or AP0.5 is a very close cousin of what traditional AP can do. Here are the many factors that impressed me:

  • The vehicle still continues to monitor lanes and if it sees a sharp curve in front, and lets say you are going 75, it will slow down the vehicle to ensure you are maintaining a safe speed. Once you come out of the turn, the vehicle returns back to a designated speed.
  • You can actually tell it to follow the speed limit or as it is called: Speed Assist. First of all, you set in the Settings Menu lets say to 10 miles above speed limit. If you hold the stalk toward yourself for a few second after engaging TACC (actually it works on regular AP too), it will find the current speed limit and add your designated extra MPH to it. However, if there is a drop of speed limit lets say from 65 to 45 MPH, you will need to hold it again and the car will decrease the speed
  • Should a vehicle in front stop at a red light, the TACC will reengage once the front vehicle beings moving without pressing additional buttons or accelerator pedal compared to other manufacturers.


I think TACC can be helpful in certain City situation when you want the vehicle to provide some assistance while you maintain full control of the steering.

This could be handy in some traffic situations or like in my cause, should you find yourself on a non-divided highway.

Bottom line: read the manual and enjoy your Tesla.

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13 responses to "Tesla Autopilot 0.5 Review"

  1. realistic says:

    First of all, you’re killing me here with “stock”. I presume you used some kind of VR to which you dictated the post; tell your device it’s “stalk”.

    Secondly: I’m not certain the thing you just described here is (a) a neglected “tech marvel” or (b) particularly useful. For example, do you really want an only modestly sophisticated “cruise control” to automatically restart after a traffic light stop?

    Without automatic emergency braking and very capable active obstacle/collision avoidance, you need to be ready to take over from this function more-or-less instantaneously. Is that how you’re driving?

    1. TomArt says:

      It has automatic emergency braking standard. I sincerely doubt that enabling TACC will disable emergency braking.

  2. Gouldness says:

    I can agree with this article. The TACC is often underrated and I wish it was in “pre auto-pilot” cars or could be added in some fashion. *Here’s to aftermarket self-driving options like OpenPilot/NeoDriven

  3. DurkleGT says:

    Is it possible to order a new Tesla with TACC without autopilot? It’s a little hard to tell from their website whether TACC is in the standard “active safety technologies” or if it costs you the full $6k to get TACC. I’d be happy with TACC less autopilot! (I know the hardware is standard everywhere, and they just activate or not the software for a fee…)

    1. DurkleGT says:

      I guess it’s $5k if you order Autopilot when you place your vehicle order, 6k afterwards.

      1. TomArt says:

        It’s my understanding that TACC is standard, but I could be wrong…I’ll have to go back to Tesla’s site and take a closer look…

        1. Paul K says:

          I have a 2016 Model S without Autopilot. It has the Autopilot 1.0 hardware. The cruise control is the basic kind (not TACC). It does track cars in front of you and warns you if cars suddenly stop and you don’t react. It also reads speed limit signs and displays the speed limit on the screen (playing a chime if you exceed the limit by a user-defined amount).

    2. Martin Winlow says:

      This is what my 2015 S has (according to the manual – but this may have changed by now):-
      “Driver Assistance Features
      These safety feature(s) are available on all Model S vehicles equipped with Driver Assistance components:
      • Lane Assist (see Lane Assist on page 86).
      • Collision Avoidance Assist (see Collision Avoidance Assist on page 88).
      • Speed Assist (see Speed Assist on page 91).
      These convenience features, designed to reduce driver workload, are available only if Model S is equipped with the optional Autopilot Tech Package:
      • Tra c-Aware Cruise Control (see Tra c- Aware Cruise Control on page 70).
      • Autosteer (see Autosteer on page 76).
      • Auto Lane Change (see Auto Lane
      Change on page 79).
      • Autopark (see Autopark on page 81).
      • Auto High Beam (see High Beam
      Headlights on page 54).”

  4. unlucky says:

    Not so much a review as a Tesla AP0.5 overview.

  5. Michael S says:

    This is very misleading.

    Autopilot is the name of a suite of features that comprise of TACC and Autosteer.

    You can use TACC with Autosteer or without Autosteer. Both are considered Autopilot — AP 1.0 or AP 2.0, depending on the hardware.

    There is no such thing as AP 0.5.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Once again, I call on InsideEVs’ editors to create and apply consistently, a standard for differentiating between AP software and AP hardware. When an article talks about “AP2.0”, yet the software is up to version 8.1, then it only creates confusion.

    Some writers, and if I recall, Tesla in some press releases, have taken to using the abbreviation “HW” when talking about hardware 1.0 vs hardware 2.0. So it would be helpful if InsideEVs editors would edit, to take an example from this article, “AP2.0” to read “AP HW 2.0”, to eliminate this confusion.

    And trying to re-label TACC as “AP 0.5” is a deliberate attempt to cause confusion. It’s right up there with Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland.

    1. Martin Winlow says:

      “And trying to re-label TACC as “AP 0.5” is a deliberate attempt to cause confusion. ”

      A bit like referring to to hybrids as ‘EVs’ al the time. So at least isideEVs is being consistently confusing!

  7. Martin Winlow says:

    I use the TACC regularly on single c/way roads and find it very useful, principally to avoid inadvertent speeding. But I do wish we could have a *true* ‘relative’ ‘Speed Assist’ limit rather than Tesla’a rather twisted idea of it. As it stands ‘relative’ means (from the manual):- “Relative. The speed limit is determined automatically based on detected traffic signs and GPS data. If desired, you can set a speed limit to offset (+ or -) if you want to be alerted only when you exceed the speed limit by a specified amount. For example, you would increase the offset to +10 mph (10 km/h) if you only want to be alerted when you exceed the speed limit by 10 mph (10 km/h).”

    A much more sensible (and in the UK at least, legally significant) way to do it would be to set a proportional offset so if you want to be alerted only when you are exceeding the posted limit by 5%, say, then you would set that.

    If you enter a speed restricted bit of road (ie the posted limit drops) TACC?Speed Assist does not not alter you speed automatically. This seems completely potty to me! At least lets have the option to turn this on!

    For the sake of a very insignificant bit more coding both options seem a very small ask.

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