Tesla doesn’t like its employees having fun on YouTube

The automaker fired an employee who was testing FSD functions on YouTube. Still in beta, Tesla’s driver assistance system is experiencing some failures.

Tesla is a UFO in the automotive sector and the manufacturer has been able to develop a real community. Some influencers and customers are also ready to pay several thousand euros to test functions that are still in beta. This is particularly the case of the FSD. “Full Self-Driving” or “Fully Autonomous Driving Capability” in France is software that many Tesla owners have been waiting for. It provides access to a whole range of driving assistance functions and in particular fully autonomous driving. This last option made its appearance in the fall of 2021 in the United States; but is not yet offered in Europe where the experience remains restricted.

The feature is regularly highlighted on social networks by fans or testers; and some sometimes show that Tesla’s software isn’t perfect. Available in beta, it is regularly mistaken and the manufacturer also recognizes that the Autopilot functionalities “require active monitoring by the driver”. Tesla employee John Bernal also wanted to share his experience on his AI Addict YouTube channel. An idea that did not really convince his employer.

As reported CNBCJohn Bernal claims to have been fired by Tesla after the publication of a video showing his Tesla hitting a bollard (from 3min25 in the video). We can indeed see the car miss a turn and hit a beacon. If the damage is light, the sequence did not escape John Bernal’s superiors. They indicated that the employee-youtuber had “violates Tesla policy” and that his YouTube channel was a ” conflict of interest “. It must be said that the user is not at his first attempt.

Fired for criticizing autonomous driving on video

In the past, he had already been warned after the publication of a video in March 2021. It shows several near misses with pedestrians and cyclists. FSD beta software is used and the video has racked up over 250,000 views, prompting reactions on social media. After posting the video, John Bernal assures us that “a person in charge of [s]we team Autopilot tried to [l]e dissuade from posting any negative or critical content involving FSD Beta in the future”. “They held a videoconference with me but never put anything in writing”he adds.

Tesla policy does not prohibit employees from criticizing company products in public. However, a memo states that Tesla “rely on the common sense and good judgment of its employees to engage in responsible social media activity.” John Bernal claims that after he was fired, his access to FSD Beta software was revoked. As an advantage, the manufacturer offers its employees the possibility of benefiting from the FSD; provided they agree to let Tesla collect usage data.

Marketed at a price of 8,000 dollars, the FSD follows the same trajectory as the brand’s vehicles and regularly experiences price increases. Billed $10,000 or $200 per month via subscription; it increased by 20% at the start of the year in the United States to upgrade to $12,000. In France, it remains for the time being offered at 7,500 euros.

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