Lawyer Rushed To The Hospital By Tesla Model X Using The Autopilot Feature

Sep 08, 2016 05:03 AM EDT | J Russ I.

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Joshua Neally was on his way home from work when he felt a sudden pain and tightness in his chest. He had his Tesla Model X on autopilot mode at the time, but was paying close attention to the road; following Tesla's user guideline.

The shooting pain, it turns out, was caused by a pulmonary embolism. It's a blockage of the lung artery that needs immediate medical intervention, otherwise, death is likely to occur. Neally, a Springfield lawyer quickly directed his Tesla towards the nearest hospital, some 20 miles from where he was; going through Highway 65 while enduring a pain that he described as "excruciating."

"It was kinda getting scary. I called my wife and just said 'something's wrong' and I couldn't breathe, I was gasping, kind of hyperventilating," Neally told KYTV-TV. "I just knew I had to get there, to the ER."

When he was a couple of blocks to the hospital, the lawyer managed to take over and drove himself the rest of the way. When asked by a news team whether or not he could've made the whole trip without the autopilot feature Neally shook his head, saying that at some point, when the pain was its peak, he would've needed to pull over.

He had his Tesla for about a week when the incident occurred and was grateful for the technology that it possessed. After the crash in May where Joshua Brown was killed when he was driving his Tesla on autopilot mode - the first-ever fatal accident involving a self-driving car -  Neally's story cast a different shade on the whole argument.

But one thing is for sure: The debate on the level of safety that autonomous cars offer to the public certainly needs a deeper, more complex discussion. A discussion that may very well define the future of road security.

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