Did Tesla’s autopilot feature save a man’s life?


Joshua Neally from Missouri was struck by a pulmonary embolism while driving his Tesla Model X. PHOTO: TESLA

Joshua Neally from Missouri was struck by a pulmonary embolism while driving his Tesla Model X. PHOTO: TESLA

Tesla came under fire earlier this year after a car from its Model S line-up crashed into a tractor-trailer killing the driver on the spot.

Earlier, investigation into the accident concluded the driver was using the car’s auto-pilot feature and its radar and ultrasonic sensors failed to detect the crossing semi-truck.

Tesla fatal crash is setback to autonomous cars

However, recent developments might come as good news for Tesla.

Joshua Neally from Missouri might owe his life to the company’s autopilot feature after he was struck by a pulmonary embolism while driving. Neally experienced severe chest pain while driving on a highway in his Tesla Model X SUV after which he decided to switch to the car’s autopilot feature and let it drive for the next 20 miles.

He took over for the final stretch guiding the car to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal obstruction of a blood vessel in his lungs.

Neally acknowledges the fact that it would have been safer to call pull over and call an ambulance but an embolism can prove to be fatal if not treated in time.

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Whether Tesla’s self-driving saved Joshua’s life or not, we can’t say for sure. However, it is worth noting that the driver trusted the car to help and argues that the car would have pulled over if he had fallen unconscious.

This article originally appeared on Slate.

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