Tesla's autonomous vehicles, especially Model S, have been the subject of both criticism and praise for its achievements in acceleration but if there is something Tesla co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wants to send across, it is that the company takes safety seriously.
So when Manfred Kick, a Model S driver, acted heroically by sacrificing his vehicle to save someone's life, Musk was quick to react to it.
Forty-one-year-old Manfred Kick was driving on the Autobahn near Munich, Germany when he noticed a Volkswagen Passat moving erratically on the highway. Kick grew concerned because the vehicle not only swerved about but also collided with the guardrail multiple times, which could have meant car trouble, someone is driving under the influence, or something was very wrong with the driver.
What Kick did was to speed up his Model S and took a peek at what was going on inside the VW Passat and it was then he realized that the rogue car's driver seemed to be unconscious. Kick immediately accelerated his Model S, positioned it in front of the Passat, and allowed the erratic vehicle to collide with his car gently. Kick then slowed down his Model S, along with the Passat, until both vehicles came to a stop. Afterwards, he immediately approached the Passat and opened it to administer first aid on the unconscious driver.
The passers-by who saw the situation were quick to call for emergency services, and medical help soon arrived to take the man to the hospital. Due to Kick's quick action and willingness to sacrifice his Model S to save a stranger who suffered a stroke, police say the man is now stable.
The Good News
A road accident — regardless of intent — is still an accident so the German police still have a job to investigate the collision against Kick. The good news is that, since the man was saved and no other vehicles were involved, the police believe Kick will receive an award for his heroism instead of a fine.
Kick saved a life and he is most likely getting an award but there is one other thing to take care of: the bills. According to reports, the damages, though minor, total to about $10,700 (€10,000) for both vehicles and that is most likely Kick's responsibility. Ouch!
The Better News
As the old adage says, "You reap what you sow," and Kick's heroism and compassion earned him a reward from Musk. On Feb. 15, the Twitter active innovator shared the story and announced that Tesla will cover the expenses for the damages to Kick's Model S.
Take a look at Musk's tweets below.
In appreciation, Tesla is providing all repair costs free of charge and expedited. https://t.co/D68HNJcCoQ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) Feb. 15, 2017
That is definitely a huge load off our Good Samaritan's back and a good way for Tesla to prove why its vehicles' safety features can still be manipulated by the drivers.