ST. LOUIS, Aug. 9 (UPI) — A Missouri man used his Tesla Model X’s Autopilot feature to help drive him to an emergency room.
Attorney Joshua Neally, 37, experienced chest pains — “a steel pole through my chest” as he described it — on his way home from work in Springfield late July. He called his wife, switched on the so-called Autopilot feature, which turns the vehicle into a nearly self-driving car and took him about 20 miles through traffic to a hospital just off the freeway.
Neally suffered a pulmonary embolism, a potentially deadly obstruction in the lungs. He has since recovered.
The autopilot feature Neally used is the same that has been the target of a federal investigation after a man in Florida was killed when his car crashed while it was on and two other drivers were injured in crashes in Pennsylvania and Montana.
Neally defended the controversial feature, saying “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.”
Tesla had no comment on the incident, but CEO Elon Musk has previously said “When used correctly, it is already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability.”