WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
ˈau•toˌmat•ic ˈpi•lot, n. [countable]
  • Aeronauticsan electronic control system that automatically keeps an aircraft, ship, spacecraft, etc., on course.
  • Also called autopilot. Idioms
    1. Idiomson automatic pilot, being operated or controlled by or as if by an automatic device;
      on automatic.

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
    automatic pilot, 
  • Aeronauticsan airborne electronic control system that automatically maintains a preset heading and attitude. Also called  automatic, autopilot, gyropilot, robot. 
  • Idiomson automatic pilot, functioning in an unthinking or reflexive manner.
    • 1915–20

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    automatic pilot n
    1. Also called: autopilot a device that automatically maintains an aircraft on a preset course
    2. on automatic pilotinformal acting without conscious thought because of tiredness, shock, or familiarity with the task being performed

    'on automatic pilot' also found in these entries:

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