After plenty of controversy around the Autopilot feature in Tesla Motors’ new vehicles, there is a breath of hope for the company as the feature has ended up possibly saving a life. Joshua Neally would testify to this.
The 37-year-old was driving his brand new Tesla Model X from his office in Springfield, Missouri, when he felt sudden biting pains in his chest due to a blocked artery in his lungs. Distraught with the pain, Neally decided to rely on the car’s autopilot feature to take him to the hospital.
“It was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had,” he told local KY3 news. “It was kinda getting scary. I called my wife and just said, ‘Something’s wrong.’”
“I just knew I had to get there, to the ER,” he said.
The autopilot feature requires the driver to touch the wheel every few minutes, which Neally was able to keep up for 20 miles on the highway. He said he had to keep trusting the software, otherwise the car would have either crashed, or stopped to the side of the road.
After being carried to near a hospital, Neally mustered his strength and took control of the car, drove off the highway exit ramp and then the rest of the way to the hospital. He has now recovered and continues to receive treatment.
This incident is a stark contrast to the previous accidents that were caused, at least in part, due to the autopilot feature in the vehicles. So far, there have been three accidents involving the Model S and Model X, of which the Model S accident was fatal.
Tesla Motors have refused to give a statement after this incident.