An Ohio man's Tesla Model S saved his bacon earlier this month when the self-driving feature yanked the electric car out of the way of an errant truck as the bigger vehicle merged into the Tesla's lane. Apparently our future robot overlords don't want us dead...yet.
Joshua Brown was minding his own business around noon on April 5, zipping down the interstate in his Model S while listening to a Malcolm Gladwell book on tape. (As one does when driving a Tesla.) As the highway merged with another roadway, a cherry-picker began to perform a Jersey slide, gliding across all three lanes of traffic in one smooth, inattentive maneuver and placing it on an intercept course with the electric car.
Brown, by his own admission in the video's description, wasn't looking in the truck's direction as it headed for him. Luckily, though, the ever-vigilant Tesla sensors had his back. Just as the utility truck was about to veer into the electric sedan, the Autopilot system juked the car—which Brown had nicknamed "Tessie"—out of harm's way while simultaneously sounding an alert telling Brown to take over the vehicle.
Brown says the other driver seemed apologetic when, moments later, he caught his eye on the road, and offered him a "sorry!" gesture. With typical Midwestern aplomb, Brown says he gave him an "It's okay" wave in response.
Joshua, we're glad you're okay. One quick word of advice, though: When your Model 3 shows up in a few years, try to come up with a better name for it than "Tessy."