The carmaker Tesla has fired an employee who has repeatedly published footage from the beta version of the Full Self-Driving (FSD) system on its AI Addict YouTube channel. The last straw was a video in which his Model 3 hit a bollard.
John Bernal said that before his release, his superiors told him orally that he had “violated Tesla’s policies” and that his YouTube channel was a “conflict of interest.” However, the reason for his dismissal was not stated in the written notice of termination of employment.
Tesla hit the bollard
Although the AI Addict channel has only 12.5 thousand subscribers, it has seen a nine-minute video more than 200 thousand spectators. The clash with the green-and-white bollard occurs in its first third (specifically at 3:29) when Tesla turns right at the crossroads. The consequences of the collision were relatively small – they included a bent bollard and a slightly abraded bumper.
It must be stated that the published video certainly does not represent a system of autonomous management in the best light. In addition to the already mentioned incident, Tesla is doing quite clumsily in several other places. Her driver had to intervene in the drive, for example, when the car was about to take the tram tracks after turning.
Supervisors turned to Bernal earlier – after publishing another video in March 2021 with a series of shots of Tesla in autonomous mode it almost collided with several pedestrians and cyclists. Also in this case, a beta version of the FSD software was installed in the car.
Bernal said that after the video was released, his superiors tried to discourage him from posting any negative or critical content in the future that pertains to the beta version of Full Self-Driving. They held a video conference with him on the subject, but never gave him anything in writing.
Review yes, but not negatively
Tesla Social Media Policy do not prohibit employees from criticizing productsbut they say the company “Relies on common sense and good judgment of its employees to engage in social media activities responsibly”.
In addition to his dismissal, Bernal was also denied access to the FSD software beta testing program. It gives customers who pay for advanced assistance software (to the displeasure of many, Tesla refers to it as “Full Self Driving”), access to experimental updates.
Tesla says that approximately 60,000 customers have signed up for beta testing on public roads, providing it with invaluable data for improving the software. Literally one breath then emphasizes that there have been no accidents or injuries since launching FSD Beta.