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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on February 17th, 2020 | by Johnna Crider


Tesla Autopilot Saved 8 Lives In Storm Dennis

February 17th, 2020 by  

Storm Dennis was brutal in the southern part of UK, but it didn’t stop Tesla’s Autopilot from working, and seemingly saving 8 lives. There were two Tesla Model X vehicles involved in an accident caused by Storm Dennis blowing down a 400-year-old oak tree into the paths of these vehicles. The crazy thing is that when the tree fell, each Tesla was on the opposite side of the other. They were coming from opposite directions.

Both families had Autopilot enabled and both credit Tesla’s Autopilot for saving their lives by stopping the vehicles in time.

Laurence Sanderson, a financial consultant, said that it was a miracle they survived. “Another second and we would have been crushed, as I wouldn’t have been able to react in time. The car undoubtedly saved our lives. We would have been killed without it.”

The story he tells is harrowing and leaves one with chills. “We were driving along and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the tree coming down. The car was on Autopilot and the emergency braking kicked in. It was chaos with smoke coming from the car and people shouting to get out. People from other cars came to help get the kids out. It was an amazing response.”

The car that was traveling toward this accident from the opposite direction was another Tesla Model X carrying a family of four. The odds of both of the vehicles involved in this wild accident being Tesla vehicles are rare, to say the least. The highway, A31, was blocked in both directions due to the tree falling. Sanderson said that his wife was a bit “battered and bruised,” but other than that they were “completely unscathed.”

Josh Whitelock, a construction company director, was driving the other Model X with his girlfriend and their family. “I was on Autopilot driving home when I saw a flash from the power line which lit up the tree as it fell. We stopped suddenly. There was a loud crack and then the sound of metal on metal. I was expecting to turn around and see my girlfriend and her mother impaled by branches but incredibly that wasn’t the case.”

“In an amazing one in a million chance, another Tesla Model X car was also hit on the other side of the tree. The police have told me that all three are fine, so eight lives have quite literally been saved due to this amazing car,” Laurence says. Another couple who saw what happened was kind enough to bring the families into their home and feed them. “My wife thought she was going to die when she saw the tree fall. I can’t believe we’re all still alive. Elon Musk has done us proud.”



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About the Author

is a Baton Rouge artist, gem, and mineral collector, member of the International Gem Society, and a Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter

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