Tesla's autopilot drove a man having heart pains to hospital

Lynsey Barber
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Investigation Continues Into Tesla Driver's Death While In Autopilot Mode
Tesla's autopilot is semi-autonomous technology (Source: Getty)

Could self-driving cars saves lives? One man thinks they may have done already - and that's because it happened to him.

A man who suffered severe heart pains at the wheel of his car was lucky enough to be driving a Tesla that could drive him to hospital thanks to a feature known as autopilot.

In fact, it turned out he was suffering a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in his artery) doctors told him when he reached the hospital, after the car drove 20 miles along the motorway to get him there.

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Joshua Neally, a lawyer from Missouri, said he believes the Tesla may just have saved his life.

Tesla's autopilot is a form of semi-autonomous driving technology which can brake, accelerate and steer on roads, using radar ultrasound and cameras to identify the world around it. Tesla recommends that drivers still keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road when using autopilot as it's still in a "public beta test phase".

Read more: I, for one, welcome our imminent driverless car overlords

Tesla last month disclosed that it had its first ever fatality when a driver was using the autopilot mode after a combined 130m miles of autopilot driving among Tesla drivers. It pointed out that there is a fatality on the road in the US for every 94m miles driven.

Neally said that he perhaps should have called an ambulance, but by the time he realised something was seriously wrong autopilot would have been quicker than waiting for help. He also said he had considered the fact that in a normal car he may have lost control and injured others as a result.

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