Tesla Model X
Springfield, Missouri attorney and Tesla Model X Owner, Joshua Neally, told Slate that his car saved his life. Branson native Neally found himself in the midst of a possibly fatal medical emergency and was able to have his Tesla Autopilot transport him to the hospital.
Tesla Autopilot In Control
Neally explained that he had been having some strange chest pains for a number of days but shrugged it off as a pulled muscle. He was headed on his usual commute home from work with plans to enjoy his daughter's fourth birthday celebration. However, he didn't make it home as scheduled. Fortunately, he made it to safety and is alive and well to share the story.
As Josh left Springfield and proceeded onto the local freeway, his pain became unbearable. He explained:
"It was excruciating pain. I've never had such pain in my life."
It turns out, Josh was experiencing the pain associated with a pulmonary embolism. A blood vessel in his lung was blocked and it was causing him to have difficulty breathing and talking. He even got to the point at times that his vision was blurred. Josh was able to call his wife and get to the hospital.
Luckily, the hospital was close to a freeway exit. Josh said he engaged Autopilot and only had to touch the steering wheel periodically. The car changed lanes and passed other vehicles on its own. He only had to manage directing the car in the final moments upon exiting the freeway. Josh promptly checked himself into the ER at CoxHealth facility in Branson, Missouri.
He told interviewers that he realizes that pulling over and requesting emergency services may have been the better choice, but nevertheless, his Model X took care of him. He even admitted to occasionally checking email and texts in the past when Autopilot was at work. Neally said of the Tesla Autopilot Mode:
"It's more like the ultimate cruise control . . . I definitely believe it helped me."
Thankfully, his condition was relieved with the dosing of blood thinning medication and he was home within hours. His daughter was safe with some friends until he arrived. He was even able to head out and celebrate her birthday.
Slate interviewed Neally and reported the story ahead of other press. Reporter Will Oremus added his thoughts:
"Neally’s experience is unusual. It doesn’t prove autopilot’s worth as a safety feature any more than Brown’s death disproves it. Yet Neally’s story is the latest of several that have emerged since the Florida crash to paint a fuller picture of autopilot’s merits, in addition to its by now highly publicized dangers. 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."