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Autopilot in Tesla Model X gets driver safely to hospital: Was it a good move?


Tesla’s Autopilot system is indeed the centre of all things auto these days. While the negative reports about the same system seem to be increasing, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk may finally have some news that may give him a some relief.

According to a report from Slate, Autopilot has saved the life Joshua Neally, when the driver was struck by a pulmonary embolism, while riding his Tesla Model X on the highway.

37-year old Neally who is runs his own law firm had to take a call when he realised that he was facing symptoms of a blockage in an artery. He took a call, and switched to Autopilot that took over the vehicle for over 20 miles of highway before stopping over at an off-ramp close to a hospital in Missouri.

Indeed this is one of those situations that paints a very positive picture about Tesla’s controversial Autopilot system which is good for the company especially after the recent spate of Autopilot-related accidents.

While many may question the drivers decision to switch to Autopilot instead of stopping the car on the roadside and calling for Emergency Services, Neally had good enough reason to do the same.

He told Branson Local KY3, “It was kinda getting scary. I called my wife and just said ‘somethings wrong’ and I couldn’t breathe, I was gasping, kind of hyperventilating,”. “I just knew I had to get there, to the ER,” said Neally.

He did speak positively about the Autopilot system, “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,”

Had Neally fallen completely unconscious, his Model X would have pulled them to safety to the roadside instead of crossing over to the interstate and slamming into a big rock wall.

Turning into a deadly projectile and harming other motorists on the highway is indeed one of the many reasons why systems such as Autopilot could become a mandate in many cars. Indeed technology can be good or bad depending on the situation. While many argue that Autopilot is not good for quick break from taking your hands off the wheel. It was indeed the right choice for Neally who felt that he needed to get to a hospital instead of stopping by the roadside and waiting for emergency services.

Mercedes too has its own Drive Pilot system that uses a plethora of sensors to read the road ahead (up to 250 metres). Drive Pilot arrives in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300, which also comes with plenty of other new tech goodies.