on automatic pilot

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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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

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