automatic pilot

noun
1.
Aeronautics. an airborne electronic control system that automatically maintains a preset heading and attitude. Also called automatic, autopilot, gyropilot, robot.
Idioms
2.
on automatic pilot, functioning in an unthinking or reflexive manner.

Origin:
1915–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
automatic pilot
 
n
1.  Also called: autopilot a device that automatically maintains an aircraft on a preset course
2.  informal on automatic pilot acting without conscious thought because of tiredness, shock, or familiarity with the task being performed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

automatic pilot

device for controlling an aircraft or other vehicle without constant human intervention.

Learn more about automatic pilot with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Throughout your flight the robot will control the throttles and the plane's
  automatic pilot.
He then switched the steering mechanism to automatic pilot.
Hey, these guys and gals are more than mere gagsters on automatic pilot.
Automatic pilot and automatic ballast and trim functions are desired.
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