A Tesla vehicle’s autopilot mode helped save the day for a Pennsylvania mother who gave birth while stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital.
The Today Show reports Yiran Sherry, of Wayne, and her infant daughter, Maeve, are doing well after the unusual circumstances of her birth on Sept. 9.
Yiran told The Today Show that she and her husband, Keating, were getting their son, Rafa, 3, ready for school that morning when her water broke. Thinking she still had time before their daughter’s arrival, Yiran said she told her husband to drive their son to school first. He disagreed.
“She was telling me to drop Rafa off to school. But I figured time was of the essence,” Keating said.
He began driving his wife to the hospital, but they got stuck in morning traffic along the way. That is when the autopilot mode helped.
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Here’s more from the Washington Post:
Keating enabled Autopilot, a mode in which the car matches the speed of other vehicles on the road and brakes when needed. The feature is meant to reduce the work of the driver, according to Tesla, which is exactly what Keating needed.
He placed his left hand on the steering wheel and offered his right for Yiran to squeeze in pain as Rafa sat in the back seat, asking whether his mom was OK.
Between his wife’s “death squeeze” and their young son’s questions from the back, Keating said the autopilot gave him one less thing to worry about.
“With the autopilot, I’m still very focused on the road,” he said. “But it’s nice to have that reassurance as your heart rate is just through the roof and you’re trying to handle a pretty stressful situation as best you can.”
Maeve was born right before the family arrived at Paoli Hospital, according to the reports.
“I felt that she’s just completely out and heard crying,” Yiran remembered. “To be honest, although I was pushing, I just had no idea the baby would come out before the hospital. It’s like 20 minutes. I would never think that.”
She said the doctors cut their umbilical cord while she still was in the front seat and then covered her and carried her and the baby into the hospital.
“There was just such a huge sigh of relief once we were at the hospital,” her husband said. “You really count your blessings.”
“It was such a surreal experience but also incredibly beautiful in a sense just because Rafa was there in the back seat — we were all together,” he added. “There was immense gratitude that everyone was healthy. You really go through a whirlwind of emotions.”
Months later, the whole family said they are doing well, and they are thankful that Maeve is a happy baby.
“We couldn’t wish for a better baby. Rafa, our son, was a really good baby. People have warned us the second baby … might be tough,” Yiran said. “She’s really the perfect baby.”