Later, cockpits were closed and pilots got a few instruments and when jet engines replaced classical engines they felt an unknown stress of decisions-in-the-fraction-of-a-second required (beyond the intuitive steering). It is my strong believe, that the stress-intensity held until the auto-pilot were introduced and overtook the control.
However, we know from the Hudson-river-plane-landing that expert pilots need to overrule the auto-pilot, in emergency cases.
Mathematica's core for the mathematical auto pilot is a combination of automated algorithm selection and precision control and tracking. Mathematica looks for you into te problem description, say, a Differential Equation, and automatically selects a solver and tracks the required precision alongside the process structure.
But if you know, your DE needs a special scheme, you can select it from a broad variety of adequate solvers.