After suffering a pulmonary embolism Joshua Neally, a lawyer from Missouri, used his Tesla Model X’s self driving mode to get to a hospital. A pulmonary embolism is a potentially fatal obstruction of blood vessels in the lungs and causes intense pain in the chest and abdomen.
Neally was driven 20 miles to the nearest hospital by his Tesla and from there checked himself into the emergency room. Doctors have since commented that he was lucky to survive the incident at all.
The auto-pilot function developed by Tesla has been facing scrutiny in The United States for some time now after a Florida man died in a self driving car related accident.
The function allows the car to change lanes and react to traffic by itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently investigating the use of the groundbreaking technology to determine whether or not it’s ready for use by the general public.
Appearing on a local news station Joshua said he’s very thankful for this experience. He went on to say, “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”.
In Joshua’s situation he also saved himself a huge ambulance bill, which is a growing problem in The United States. Insurance providers don’t always cover the ambulance ride to the hospital and at times it can cost over $164 per mile. For a lawyer like Mr. Neally those kind of bills might not be as much of an issue, but the average American could find themselves in a sticky situation.
Self driving cars bring up lots of questions about how far this technology goes, and specifically how laws in regards to the state of one’s consciousness while driving will view the new technology. Driving while inebriated is a huge problem around the world, self driving cars could offer a new solution.