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Tesla Dismissed an Employee Because of an FSD Video!
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- John Bernal, a Tesla employee, used his channel on youtube, AI Addict, to show the world the FSD Beta. In February, he was fired.
- He claims that he never disclosed unpublished items or company secrets, although a few of his videos showed system failures.
- Despite the fact that the software has no safety violations, his access to the Full Self Driving Beta has been revoked.
Tesla has dismissed John Bernal, a former Autopilot employee, after he posted honest video reviews on his YouTube channel, AI Addict, detailing how the company’s FSD Beta system performed in various areas around Silicon Valley.
After Bernal’s departure, Tesla disabled his access to the Full Self Driving Beta system in his own car, the 2021 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle, even though the software had no safety violations. Tesla’s premium driver-assistance software, FSD, is still in his possession. Tesla’s technology does not yet allow its vehicles to be self-driving.
The FSD Beta option is best described as a suite of new driver aid features that aren’t completely developed or tested. The “Autosteer on City Streets” feature, for example, allows the automobile to maneuver through difficult urban situations without the driver having to adjust the steering wheel. Owners must first get the FSD feature, which costs $12,000 upfront or $199 monthly in the United States, and then achieve and maintain a good driver safety score, as decided by Tesla’s software that tracks their driving habits.
Tesla and other firms in Silicon Valley frequently cultivate a culture of loyalty, even if they don’t write details of why he was dismissed. Internal criticism is acceptable, while public criticism is seen as disloyal.
Tesla did not react to a request for comment on Bernal’s predicament right away.
His Channel’s Origins
Bernal began working as a data annotation specialist for Tesla in August 2020 in a San Mateo, California office. According to the records he provided, he was fired in the 2nd week of February after moving to the post of advanced driver assistance systems test operator.
Bernal, as a lifelong vehicle lover who is proud to work for Tesla, placed an order for a 2021 Tesa Model 3 with a long-range battery just a few months after starting work there. On December 26, 2020, he received the car.
He says he purchased the vehicle in part because Tesla gave staff free access to the Full Self Driving feature, which was worth $8,000 at the time. In return, employees must agree to allow the corporation to collect both external and internal data about the vehicle.
He launched his Youtube channel AI Addict in Feb 2021 to share what the public version of the Full Self Driving Beta could achieve, as he was amazed by what he regarded as Tesla‘s lifesaving technology.
The majority of Bernal’s videos show him driving around Silicon Valley in his car with a friend, using the latest versions of the Full Self Driving Beta. Bernal wasn’t the only one who shared his thoughts on Tesla’s experimental software. Chuck Cook, Dirty Tesla, Kim Paquette, and other FSD Beta users hurry to evaluate any new update on their channels.
Tesla is Still Important to Me
The corporation’s written dismissal letter did not specify why Bernal was dismissed when he was fired last month. It happened when one of his videos showed him driving in San Jose and his vehicle knocked over bollards while his FSD Beta was on.
Bernal says that managers informed him immediately before he was fired that he had violated Tesla policy and also that his Channel on youtube was a conflict of interest. They admonished him for selling products bearing the phrase “FSD (beta)” and also for utilizing the FSD Beta feature in a dangerous manner.
Bernal has stated that he has always been honest about his channel, both with his Tesla bosses and with the general public. His work at Tesla has always been included with his channel name on his online resume, for example, on LinkedIn. Bernal said that he had never come across a policy that prohibited him from doing auto tech evaluations using his own property on his own time.
A current Tesla employee submitted a copy of the company’s social media policy, which makes no mention to the public criticism of the company’s products. The policy states that “the company relies on its workers’ good judgment and common sense to engage in responsible activities on social media.” It mentions Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, WeChat, Snapchat, and personal blogs, but it doesn’t mention YouTube.
Bernal said that he never mentioned anything that Tesla hadn’t already made public. He explained that the FSD Beta versions he was showing were “end consumer products.”
But, his videos occasionally show issues with the Full Self Driving Beta software.
In March 2021, for example, his channel posted a video entitled “FSD Beta 8.2 Oakland – Close Calls, Pedestrians, Bicycles!” that showed his car had several disengagements. That’s where, in order to avoid accidents, the FSD Beta required Bernal to take over the driving manually. The FSD Beta starts entering an intersection just as a car passes in front of Bernal’s car at ’11min 58sec’ in the video. He barely avoided crashing with the other car.
Since then, the video has garnered more than 280,000 views.
“One of the managers from my Autopilot team attempted to dissuade me from sharing any critical or negative information in the future that referenced to the FSD Beta,” said Bernal. “They spoke to me through a video conference but didn’t write anything down.”
According to his Youtube channel analysis, nearly ten videos out of the 60 videos he uploaded revealed problems with FSD Beta. There were three videos about other Tesla themes that didn’t mention the FSD Beta, while the other three videos were about electric cars of other automakers and had nothing to do with Tesla.
Bernal shared pictures and screenshots indicating that the firm revoked his access to the FSD Beta after he was fired, despite the fact that he had received no strikes for dangerous driving or improper usage of the system. FSD Beta users are usually permitted numerous strikes before their access is canceled.
His ability to make reviews of the software was curtailed after he lost access to the FSD Beta in his automobile. he has, however, gained access to other cars that are equipped with the FSD Beta feature, and he intends to continue his independent reviews and research.
Bernal knew that sharing honest reviews about the Full Self Driving Beta software could draw attention to him. But as long as he was honest, and given his usually positive opinions of the technology, he believed Tesla would tolerate it or at the very least inform him if he needed to stop before he lost his dream job.
Free Speech With Some Exceptions
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, recently called himself the “free speech absolutist.” His auto firm, on the other hand, has a long history of asking consumers and workers not to talk about their cars or the company’s problems publicly.
Tesla, like many major corporations, asks its workers to sign an arbitration agreement promising to handle disputes with the firm without resorting to public lawsuits. Employees or temporary employees can file a legal challenge and, in some cases, be liberated from mandatory arbitration and spend their day in court, although such cases are uncommon.
In return for service, Tesla used to ask customers to sign non-disclosure agreements.
When the FSD Beta was originally launched, the firm requested drivers who signed up for the early access program to be selective or stop posting on social media.
Federal vehicle safety officials were concerned that this approach would have a chilling effect, causing the agency to overlook important safety issues. As a result, they launched an investigation into the FSD Beta software.
CEO Elon Musk stated at a conference in September 2021 that the corporation should have no such constraints. During an interview with Kara Swisher at the Code Conference, he stated that FSD Beta testers “weren’t really following it anyhow.”