This wasn't your average rush-hour trip to the office.
Tesla's partially autonomous Autopilot system has come under fire numerous times this year. A study revealed that the system creates distracted, more dangerous drivers, while the automaker also faced legal action following yet another Tesla crash. That's a lot of bad press, but Autopilot has also performed brilliantly at other times. The system was credited for saving a drunk driver from likely putting his own life and those of others at greater risk. And now, a couple from Pennsylvania has lauded Tesla's Autopilot after a particularly stressful trip to the hospital in which their newborn, Maeve Lily, was born in the passenger seat of their Tesla Model 3.
The owners of this Model 3 are Yiran Sherry and Keating Sherry. One morning in September, Yiran began experiencing contractions. Her water broke and Keating bundled the family - including their three-year-old son, Rafa - into the Tesla. Yiran's water broke just before she got into the car, so both parents knew that getting to the hospital quickly was critical. That never happened because the couple got caught up in rush-hour traffic. To better assist his wife while still keeping the car moving, Keating switched on Autopilot. Keeping one hand on the wheel, he did his best to assist his wife who was now in labor, while the car took care of some driving duties.
The trip to the hospital only took 20 minutes, but Maeve Lily was clearly an impatient one and was born in the Tesla's front seat before the couple got to the hospital. Nurses appeared quickly, cutting the newborn's umbilical cord in the front seat; mercifully, the couple's Model 3 had the black interior, not the less practical white one that is available on Teslas.
"Thank you genius Tesla engineers for your brilliant design of Autopilot," Keating told People. While Tesla's engineers probably didn't design Autopilot with the idea that it may come in handy in a scenario like this one, it's a pretty good showcase for the technology. By the way, nurses at the hospital now refer to Maeve Lily as the 'Tesla Baby'.