Joshua Neally would be considering himself very lucky to have got himself a self-driving car. Joshua was driving his Tesla Model X in Missouri when he suffered extreme piercing pain his stomach and chest. Rather than calling an ambulance, the 37-year-old leveraged the Tesla Autopilot system to drive to the nearest hospital.
The Tesla car then arrived at the hospital emergency area, after which Neally took control and manually steered the car into the car park before checking himself in. The driver was diagnosed with pulmonary which is caused by blood vessel obstruction in the lungs, and doctors said he was lucky to have survived it.
Tesla’s Autopilot is a driver assistance feature which helps drivers cross lanes safely, adjust speed based on other vehicles close by and scan parking spaces for better parking. Tesla says that “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”
The use of the technology is being investigated by the US road safety watchdog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after a Tesla driver in Florida was killed when his self-driving car crashed into a semi truck. Neally knows about the incident, but said he was happy to use the autopilot function that saved his life.
“If something like that happens where I become unconscious or incapacitated while I’m driving, I’m not going to cross over the interstate and slam into somebody or slam into one of the big rock walls,” the lawyer said. “It’s not going to be perfect, there’s no technology that’s perfect, but I think the measure is that it’s better and safer.”