Troubleshooting Tesla Autopilot Disabled

Troubleshooting Tesla Autopilot Disabled

Tesla Autopilot is designed to make driving almost effortless, but what do you do when certain features on the system are disabled? This seems to be happening more than drivers like to think. There are reasons behind the disabling of certain features in many cases, so it is important to understand how to troubleshoot them. 

Dealing with disabled features on the Autopilot can range from doing a hard reset of the system to navigating to a different driving environment. Certain features will only work in certain situations, and there are times when Tesla has disabled certain Autopilot features remotely. 

If you have a Tesla, it is important to learn all you can about the Autopilot system. This is a great suite of driver assistance features that should make your driving experience safer and more fun than you ever dreamed possible. Continue reading to learn how to troubleshoot through situations where certain Autopilot features have become disabled. 

Why Might Your Tesla Autopilot Be Disabled?

To begin with, it is important to understand that there are certain features on Autopilot that are not yet permissible on the road. Because the technology has already been developed, Tesla has included these features in all of its vehicle models produced after 2016. However, they are disabled until government regulations permit them to be used.

You might wonder why a carmaker would include features in your car that you cannot yet use, but the simple answer is technology. These features have already been developed, and the hope is that they will one day soon be useful to you as you drive. Because they are software based, it will be a simple update over the Internet that will activate them for you when the time comes. 

Autonomous Driving Features Are Not Yet Allowed

Any autonomous driving feature on your Autopilot is currently not allowed. You might try to activate a certain feature that would permit your car to drive itself, but that will be disabled. An example of this would be to summon your vehicle to anywhere other than a parking lot where you are currently located. This would end up disabling your Autopilot and render it unusable. 

Using the Navigate on Autopilot Feature

If you have the Tesla Autopilot, then you are probably already in love with the concept of Navigate on Autopilot. However, this part of Autopilot is still in its Beta form. As such, it will work in very specific situations. If the vehicle is in an area that is not designed for use with the Navigate on Autopilot feature, then you will discover that it is disabled. 

In order to troubleshoot this problem, you will want to make sure that you have input a route that does not involve city driving. This is a feature that is designed for use on the highway. When it is activated, it will take you to the on-ramp, handle lane changes for you, and make sure that you are in a position to get on the right interchange if applicable. 

You will also find that Navigate with Autopilot can ensure that you exit the highway at the right time to arrive at your destination via the most efficient route possible. This means that you will be alerted when it is time to change lanes, so you will want to keep this Autopilot feature activated for that. 

If you have paid for this Autopilot feature and are in an area where Navigate with Autopilot should be working, but the feature is disabled, then one of two things is likely happening:

  • You have not confirmed your acceptance of the terms of Autopilot – In order to comply with current regulations, it is essential that you confirm your understanding that the driver must remain in control of the vehicle at all times. If you have not done that, or Autopilot senses that you are no longer in control of the car, it can disable itself. 
  • There is some interference with the navigation system – This particular feature depends on a satellite navigation system. While that system is meant to work throughout the country, there are occasions where some interference can affect the ability of Autopilot to navigate the car properly. If that is the case, the system will be disabled. There will be nothing you can do to correct this until the system comes back online again. 

If either of those two reasons does not apply, you might also want to confirm that you have paid for this feature. Not all features included with Autopilot are included in every subscriber package. It could be something as simple as paying for the feature in order to get it activated.

What if the Summon Feature is Not Lighting Up?

If you do not see a blue line when you summon your car in Autopilot, that means that it has been temporarily disabled. While there are many reasons that could be causing this, it most likely has something to do with your surroundings. Remember that the summon feature is only meant to move your car either into or out of a tight spot. 

The summon feature is most commonly used to help you navigate tight parking spots. In fact, it is advertised as only working in a parking lot. For example, summoning your car down the street from a neighbor’s will rend it disabled. Remember that Autopilot operates by a series of sensors and radars. If something does not seem right, then it deactivates as a means of safety. 

You will also find that this feature is disabled if Autopilot does not feel it can get the car safely between two objects. Your naked eye might judge that the car can be parked, but Autopilot gets the final say in this. If it is disabled, then it is probably for a good reason, and you should seek another place to park. 

Why the Smart Summon Feature Might Not Work

Another useful component offered by Autopilot is the smart summon feature. This is also designed to work specifically in a parking lot environment. You might need to bring the car to you, so you would the summon and allow it to drive your way. If it is disabled for some reason, then there are several factors at play. 

To begin, you need to make sure that there are not too many obstacles in your way. If there are too many variables in the way, then Autopilot will sense that it is unsafe to enter into an autonomous mode. Alternatively, you might be summoning the car in a location that puts it into a driverless situation, and this is not allowed due to current regulations.

Why Won’t the Stop and Go Feature Work?

This is a relatively new feature offered by Autopilot. It will automatically slow down and stop your car as you approach traffic lights and stop signs. Keep in mind that you must maintain control over the car, so you cannot fully depend on the car to do all of the accelerating and braking for you. 

If this feature becomes disabled, it probably means that the weather is such that the cameras and radars can no longer accurately determine upcoming traffic signals. In this case, you will need to wait until the weather clears up. The feature will then once again become available to you. 


You should now better understand the various situations that might lead to your Tesla Autopilot being disabled. This is going to help you maximize the use of your Tesla and be able to drive your vehicle as it was intended. You can work around any feature that has been disabled, and this post has introduced you to some solutions to help you get started. 


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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