Tesla Autopilot takes driver to hospital

A Tesla Model X drove its owner more than 20 miles to hospital after he suffered a pulmonary embolism, it has been revealed.

Joshua Neally, 37, claimed that the car's Autopilot feature saved his life, in contrast with recent reports of crashes that have painted the feature as potentially unsafe.

Neally was driving home through highway traffic in late July when the incident occurred, reports Slate. He reportedly started experiencing pains that felt like "a steel pole through [his] chest", and decided that letting the Tesla navigate to the hospital would be faster than calling an ambulance.

Although the car handled most of the journey autonomously, Neally admits that he did take over for the final leg, pulling the car off the highway and steering to the hospital. While he admits that it may have been wiser to wait for an ambulance, he also suggested that were it not for Autopilot, he may have lost control of the car due to his injuries.

Neally's ailment, which results from the arteries in a person's lungs becoming blocked, kills around 70 per cent of its 50,000 annual victims in under an hour.

The Autopilot feature was implicated in a Model S crash earlier this year, when the driver and the Autopilot system failed to distinguish between an oncoming tractor trailer and the white sky.

In a further blow, a key supplier for the system has jumped ship in the wake of the two collisions. Israeli firm Mobileye - which provides the EyeQ SoC - cited 'reputational concerns', although Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the split was "inevitable".

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

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