Do Teslas Respect Speed Limits On Autopilot? (We Checked)

It is one thing to drive a car, and it is entirely another thing to drive according to road rules and regulations.

Thus, to help Tesla owners obey these rules, the company rolled out a feature with the autopilot system that makes the vehicle drive within the speed limit on local roads.

Find out in this article what exactly this new autopilot feature is and how well it adheres to speed limits. Also check out how Tesla speeds compares to sports cars.

Here’s the Answer to Whether Tesla Respects Speed Limits On Autopilot:

Tesla’s autopilot system has a feature that reacts to speed signs. It makes the traffic-aware cruise control be at a set speed limit while the car is in Autosteer. This feature also makes the system observe the vehicles surrounding it to detect when the driver should slow down or override the Autosteer system.

What Are the Options For Unlocking Your Tesla?

Tesla has put a lot of effort and consideration into the safety of its vehicles.

Thus, they rolled out three safe ways to lock and unlock their vehicles.

Whether you drive a Model Y, Model X, Model S, or Model 3, their unlocking method comprises these three ways. They include:

  • The authenticated smartphone 
  • The key card
  • The key fob

The Authenticated Smartphone

This method, as a key to unlock your vehicle, uses the Bluetooth of your phone to connect to the car.

To use your phone, all you need to do is to lift the exterior door handle and in that process, the car will automatically detect your phone via Bluetooth.

However, this requires that your phone be set up with the Tesla App. With the Tesla app, you can perform a lot of other functions.

One of those is the Tesla Walk Away Door Lock. This simply means that once you close and walk away from the vehicle, the doors will lock automatically provided the key card or fob is not in the vehicle.

You can also connect more phones to your car through Bluetooth. Just ensure that the Bluetooth of other phones is out of range or turned off.

The Key Card

This card communicates with the Tesla by using a Range Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Signal. This key card allows to you lock, unlock and drive the Model 3.

All you need to do is to tap the key card close to the Model 3 RFID transmitter and you have access to the vehicle. Once you bring the key card close to the vehicle, it brings up a sign through the following ways. They include:

  • The exterior lights may flash
  • The mirror folds and unfolds if the function is on
  • The vehicle horns may sound if you activate the lock confirmation sound

However, it is important to note that the most authentic way of unlocking your Tesla is through your smartphone. The key card should only come in handy if perhaps your phone is out of battery or stolen.

The Key Fob

The key fob can be purchased as an accessory to the car. It may not be necessary to buy a key fob since you have your key card and phone. But with the key fob comes the easy access to open the trunk.

To lock or unlock your Tesla with the key fob, all you need to do is to press the center on the fob.

However, the smartphone is a preferred way of unlocking your Tesla because for the key fob and key card, you would constantly need to remove them from your pocket or purse and they can get lost.

Can Teslas Go Over the Speed Limit If They Miss A Sign?

The Tesla autopilot feature regardless of how intelligent can still exceed the speed limit if they misread the sign.

This was put to the test when some researchers placed a visual distraction like stickers that could trick the camera from reading the correct figure.

The placed limit was 35 mph, but the camera misread the sign as 85 mph when the researchers spoofed its reading in different ways.

However, they reported no one was hurt, as they had to apply the brakes manually and override the autopilot system.

We have more here on how well a Tesla reads traffic lights and stop signs.

Do Tesla Cars Read the Speed Signs?

The autopilot system in the Tesla has been a continual work in progress as they keep improving its functions and versatility. The latest autopilot version rolled out recently can recognize speed signs.

The new autopilot system comes with a fresh feature called Speed Assist, which uses the car’s cameras to recognize and interpret speed limit signs and data on local roads.

These detected signs will be displayed in the cockpit and used as a yardstick to set the speed limit warning. However, drivers can tailor the Speed Assist settings to their preferences.

Related: Do Teslas Stop Automatically? (Auto-Stop & Auto-Pilot Explained)

Can You Set a Speed Limit On Your Tesla?

You can definitely choose a speed limit on your Tesla and then a limit is placed on the vehicle’s maximum acceleration.

You have the luxury of choosing between 50 mph and 90 mph and activation of this speed limit is easy to navigate through.

However, before you can set up this speed limit mode, you have to enter a 4-digit PIN to enable and disable this feature. Here’s how the activation goes:

  • First, put the car in park
  • Tap on the control button
  • Then tap on Safety and Security
  • Enter the 4-digit PIN and there you have it

Setting the desired speed limit is just a matter of tapping the + and – signs on your mobile app and once your vehicle is nearing the maximum speed, it sends a notification to your mobile phone.

Tesla introduced this feature after Barrett Riley lost his life in a ghastly accident as a result of driving his Model S at 116 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Investigations showed the car was traveling at 116 mph three seconds before the crash and he was able to decrease the speed to 86 mph before hitting a wall.

The father, James Riley, had a speed limiter installed on the vehicle, but Barrett Riley went to another Tesla service center to get it removed two months prior to the accident.

Shortly after that accident, Tesla introduced a speed limit feature in a software update for owners to install on their vehicles by themselves without having to go through the company.

Related: Why Are Some Cars Limited To 155 MPH? (Explained & Solved)

Do Teslas Have Speed Limiters?

Tesla has speed limiters and you can choose your preferred speed within the 50 mph to 90 mph range. You can also choose the car warnings you want when you exceed the speed limit.

However, it is important to note that in a situation where the car cannot interpret the speed limit or if the Speed Assist is unsure of speed limit data, the touch screen may fail to display the sign and therefore the warnings may not come on. 

Related: Are Tesla Delivery Dates Accurate? (We Checked)

How Exactly Does the “Speed Assist” Work On a Tesla?

The main purpose of this Speed Assist is simply to detect speed limits and interpret the speed limit data on local roads. These speed signs are now displayed on the cockpit of the Tesla, which is a way to see the speed limit warnings.

If you have the latest Tesla software, this speed limit warning can inform the driver when the traffic lights turn green. A chime will come on when the traffic lights change from red to green.

However, if the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control or Autosteer is active, the chime will not alert you. 

To make use of this feature, you have to activate the Traffic Light and Stop sign on your controls.

This feature helps distracted drivers to regain focus when the light changes. Also, drivers can now quickly set the speed to the current speed by simply tapping the cluster speedometer. 

Related: How Far Can Fully Charged Teslas Go? (All Models’ Range)

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