Former San Diego sailor killed while driving Tesla Model S in auto-pilot mode in May

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 21:09:52-04

Former San Diego sailor Joshua Brown was the first person to die while driving a Tesla on auto-pilot.

It happened in Florida in May.

Brown seemed to live for the car. He did not know he would die in it when he posted dozens of YouTube videos about it.

"It's been doing fantastically well," Brown said in one of the videos.

Media outlets across the country have been calling him a Navy SEAL but that is incorrect. Brown actually worked with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), which is basically a military bomb squad. On his last tour, he served alongside Navy SEALs. 

Brown credited the safety features for saving him from a previous crash, which was caught on camera.

Tesla said the cars have safely driven more than 130 million miles in auto-pilot.

"My hands and my feet are totally away from everything," Brown said in a YouTube video, demonstrating what was happening in the car. "So, right now the car is actually doing all of the driving."

His Tesla was also on auto-pilot in May.

The car's cameras failed to spot the white side of a tractor-trailor and did not brake. He didn't brake either.

According to witnesses, Brown may have been distracted by the "Harry Potter" movie playing in the car.

The impact of the crash peeled off the top of the car, which kept driving about the length of three football fields until it plowed into a pole.

"It just takes off on its own," Brown said in a YouTube video as the car started beeping. "That's where you take over immediately. That's why you're always ready and notice my hands are always prepared."

For some reason in May he was not ready, and just like that, a man who served among our nation's toughest died in an instant on home soil.