In a recent tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made public a letter from a Tesla customer, claiming the Autopilot feature prevented a collision with a pedestrian. The timing of the letter is undeniably interesting since Tesla's Autopilot feature's safety quotient has recently been questioned after a Tesla driver, possibly using the Autopilot got killed in an accident. While Musk did mask the details of the sender, the only available thing was his first name – Larry.
In the letter, Larry states that he was driving in Washington DC at around 10:30 pm, when “he heard a nearby siren and, while trying to figure out where it was coming from, nearly hit a pedestrian "with dark clothes and in the middle of the road (not near an intersection)." He goes on to say that the system gave out an audio alert and then automatically applied brakes to bring the car to a halt just inches from the pedestrian. While Larry claims that he isn't aware of the vehicle recording this event in its computers, Musk stated in his tweet that the system did record it, thus vetting Larry's claim.
Ever since a Florida driver got killed in a Tesla meeting with with an accident, Musk has been actively defending Autopilot. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already opened an investigation into the case but Musk has stressed that the Autopilot was turned off at the time of the accident.