A Philadelphia mother has given birth to what is believed to be the world’s first Tesla baby: a baby delivered to the front seat of an electric smart car while it was running on autopilot.
The remarkable delivery, reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, happened in September as Yiran Sherry, 33, and her husband Keating Sherry, 34, were taking their three-year-old son Rafa to kindergarten.
Yiran Sherry’s water broke while the family was stuck in traffic. As the contractions increased rapidly and traffic was barely moving, the couple realized they weren’t going to make it in time.
Keating Sherry put the vehicle on autopilot after setting up the navigation system at the hospital 20 minutes away in the western suburb of Paoli.
He said he placed a hand gently on the steering wheel of the car while nursing his wife.
“She squeezed my hand to the point where I thought she would crush it,” Keating Sherry told the Inquirer. “I was [saying] “Yiran, okay, focus on your breathing.” That was also advice to myself. My adrenaline was pumping.”
Yiran Sherry said the decision to wait or not to give birth until they reached the hospital was a painful one. However, she said she kept checking their estimated time of arrival and saw that it barely moved.
“Should I push or hold? Should I push or hold? Fuck it, let’s do this,” she recalled, according to People magazine.
She gave birth to her daughter when they arrived at the hospital, whispering, “Oh my God, Keating. She is gone.”
Nurses cut the baby’s umbilical cord over the front seat of the car.
Keating Sherry said: “When the pediatrician said, ‘She’s well, congratulations,’ it was a sigh of relief.”
Once she was at the hospital, Yiran said, nurses kept coming into her room to see the “Tesla baby.”
“[They would ask] ‘Are you the one who delivered the baby in the car?’” Yiran Sherry said.
The couple named their daughter Maeve Lily, after thinking about Tess for a while, as a tribute to the car manufacturer.
“Thank you Tesla engineers for your brilliant autopilot design,” said Keating Sherry.
The baby’s delivery is good news for Tesla, which has been plagued by bad publicity about safety issues and abuse in the workplace.
This week, a taxi company in Paris stopped using Tesla Model 3 cars after a fatal accident. Tesla was previously facing a lawsuit in Florida over an accident that killed a teen in a Model S in 2019.
The company was co-founded in October by the richest man in the world, PayPal and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk. Tesla also faces allegations of sexual assault against numerous women.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Guardian’s request for comment.