Elon Musk Supports Autopilot, Offers User Anecdote How It Saved Life

We all know Tesla Motors’ electric car Model S recently got involved in an accident where the driver of the car died when the vehicle was on an autopilot mode. This incident provoked lot of negative stories around Tesla Motors, its founder Elon Musk and the future of driver-less vehicles. However, to support the future prospects of driver-less cars, Elon Musk on Thursday offered a real life story where an accident was averted and a life was saved just because the car was on ‘autopilot’ mode or it was being driven as ‘driver-less’.


The incident or the anecdote was narrated by a Tesla Model S owner in a letter to Elon Musk. The owner of the car was traveling in Washington DC when this incident happened. The owner wrote that it was around 10.30 PM on 16 July when he was with his daughter in a busy street and the car was on autopilot mode. There were lots of oncoming cars and the high beam of the oncoming cars were almost blinding the passengers in Model S. Right that time, during all the chaos, a pedestrian stepped out in front of the car wearing dark clothes. The owner of the car, in that mail, wrote that it would have been impossible for a human driver to stop the car in such a small distance and with so less time. But the Tesla Model S slammed its break and the car was brought to stop in no time.

“I’m not sure if I would have been able to stop before hitting him but I’m so glad the car did. I’m not sure if the event was recorded in the car’s sensor logs,” the owner wrote in that mail.

Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has posted the car owner’s letter on Twitter without revealing the owner details.

On May 7, Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla Model S hit a oncoming truck that was crossing the highway in front of him.The company confirmed that the car was on autopilot mode at the time of the accident.

Hailing the autopilot technology and the use of internet of things in automotive industry, the owner thanks Musk for the safety features deployed in the Tesla cars.

“Unfortunately incidents like this one don’t get written about in the press and most of the time no one is ever aware of how many accidents your safety features may have prevented,” wrote the owner.

“Thanks and thanks for letting customers use auto pilot even though it is in beta,” he writes in his concluding remarks to Elon Musk.

Gyana Ranjan Swain

Gyana Swain has been tracking the technology industry for over 15 years. A business journalist turned entrepreneur, he has founded two news portals- TeleAnalysis and M2MCafe.

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