2017 Tesla Model S testing at Consumer Reports
After Elon Musk’s announcement last week imploring Tesla owners to try the company’s new Navigate on Autopilot software, and promising that the system will allow Teslas to commute from home to work and back without intervention, left us wondering if our readers are equally optimistic about the system.
So we decided to ask in our weekly Twitter poll.
Our question last week was: “How often do you use Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot.”
How often do you use Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot?
— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) December 11, 2018
The majority of our users didn’t need Musk’s encouragement: 65 percent of our respondents said they use the system “Frequently,” or “Whenever it will work.”
Fewer of those were quite as militant. A larger 35 percent said they use it “Frequently” than those who said they turn it on at every possible moment.
Only 14 percent of our followers said they “Seldom” use the system. Perhaps that makes sense for a $5,000 vehicle option. Why pay for it and then not use it?
DON’T MISS: Consumer Reports tests Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot
Another 21 percent of our respondents said they “Never” use Navigate on Autopilot. It’s unclear whether all the respondents who chose this option even have cars equipped with the Enhanced Autopilot feature that makes Navigate on Autopilot possible.
It seems likely that Musk wants to encourage Tesla drivers to use the feature, because Autopilot feeds driving data back to the company’s artificial intelligence computers, which can then improve the system’s performance in traffic. Early reviews of the system were less than glowing, and the CEO likely hopes to improve its performance.
READ MORE: Tesla drivers log 1 billion miles on Autopilot
On the other hand, Autopilot’s performance navigating from on-ramp to off-ramp is something of a feedback loop. If it doesn’t perform the way drivers want, they’re less likely to use it.
That makes this poll all the more interesting, we think. It gives some anecdotal indication whether the system may get better at making snap decisions in traffic.
It doesn’t, however, make our poll any more scientific than usual. Our sample size is low (only 193 votes in this case), and our respondents are not only self-selected, but self-selected from a smaller sub-group that owns a Tesla with Navigate on Autopilot.