A Tesla owner is crediting his Model X for saving his life after the vehicle ran off the road and almost started careening down an incredibly steep hill. In a story originally posted to Reddit, Justin Bowen relays how the Model X he was driving immediately applied the emergency brakes as soon as the SUV got off the road. It’s also worth noting — for any cynics out there — that Autopilot wasn’t engaged at the time of the incident.
“No the car wasn’t on autopilot and this road is notoriously dangerous,” Bowen explained. “There was a truck a few hundred feet further down. Any other car would have flipped and gone much further down. Autopilot emergency braked as soon as I went off the road and the extreme slope. Saving my life.”
In an accompanying post on Twitter — where we can see the Model X being towed back up the hill, Bowen relays that a tow truck driver said the hill was at a 70 degree angle. All told, if Bowen was driving any other car, the end result could have been much worse.
Bowen adds that he was “unharmed” and that his Model X suffered minimal damage.
When it comes to Tesla, it’s certainly easy to get distracted by all sorts of nonsense and, in the process, gloss over all the things the company is doing right. Sure, it’s easy to poke fun at Elon Musk’s online antics, and sure, it’s been fascinating to watch the rollercoaster that has been Tesla’s share price over the past few weeks, but sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due.
That said, Tesla has undeniably designed some of the safest cars on the planet. The Model X, for example, was the first SUV in history to receive a 5-star crash rating across every category the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests for.
As Tesla noted a few years ago: “Among the nine subcategories rated by NHTSA, including frontal impact, side impact, and pole impact tests conducted on both the driver and passenger side as well as the rollover test, Model X achieved 5-stars in every category and sub-category.”