A Missouri man says his Tesla helped saved his life by driving him to the hospital during a life-threatening emergency.
Joshua Neally is a lawyer and Tesla owner from Springfield, Missouri, who often uses the semi-autonomous driving system called Autopilot on his Tesla Model X.
The system has come under fire after it was involved in a fatal Florida crash in May, but Neally told online magazine Slate that Autopilot drove him 20 miles down a freeway to a hospital, while Neally suffered a potentially fatal blood vessel blockage in his lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. The hospital was right off the freeway exit, and Neally was able to steer the car the last few meters and check himself into the emergency room, the report said.
"Neally’s story is the latest of several that have emerged since the Florida crash to paint a fuller picture of autopilot’s merits," wrote Slate. "These stories provide at least a measure of anecdotal support for Tesla’s claims that its own data show autopilot — imperfect as it is — is already significantly safer than the average human driver."
Tesla's Autopilot technology has been cited in both the May crash, and a second non-fatal crash in Montana in June. Both the National Highway Transportation Safety Commission and the National Traffic Safety Board have investigated the Florida crash, and the Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly looked into whether Tesla broke securities law by failing to disclose information about the May accident before an equity offering.
The company has resisted calls to disable the feature or change its name, including one from Consumer Reports. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that Autopilot drives more cautiously than humans.