A Tesla employee and FSD Beta tester has been terminated over what the company states is a conflict of interest. The employee in question, Jon Bernal, is also the owner of the AI Addict YouTube channel, which features both casual and stress tests of Full Self-Driving Beta in real-world situations.
Over the past year, Bernal shared numerous videos of FSD Beta in action, and being one of the system’s users who typically pushes the advanced driver-assist system to its limits, some of his videos featured flaws and shortcomings in Full Self-Driving Beta’s capabilities. This included a rather dramatic video of FSD Beta 9 in downtown San Francisco, which featured several mistakes in the system’s maneuvers, as well as an actual accident involving FSD Beta 10.10 in downtown San Jose, which featured Bernal’s Model 3 hitting a traffic bollard.
Following his termination from the company, Tesla opted to cut off Bernal’s access to FSD Beta. This, according to the former employee, was despite the fact that he has not encountered any safety strikes while using the system. Bernal’s 2021 Tesla Model 3 is still equipped with the company’s Full Self-Driving suite, however, which was given to him as a free perk when he purchased the vehicle as an employee. Tesla’s FSD suite is currently offered as a $12,000 option, though it was priced at $8,000 when Bernal took delivery of his Model 3 in December 2020.
Bernal started his employment at Tesla in August 2020, working as a data annotation specialist in an office in San Mateo, California. As per records shared by the former employee to CNBC, he was later moved into the role of advanced driver assistance systems test operator. He was terminated from the company on the second week of February 2022. Prior to his dismissal, Bernal stated that managers verbally informed him that he “broke Tesla policy” and that his AI Addict YouTube channel was a “conflict of interest.”
While Bernal did previously admit in the comments section of one of his YouTube videos that he was a Tesla employee, the AI Addict channel does not prominently indicate or disclose that its host works for the EV maker. That being said, Bernal maintains that he has been transparent about his YouTube channel, even with his colleagues at Tesla. He also maintains that he has never disclosed anything in his videos that the company has not rolled out to the public.
“The FSD Beta releases I was demonstrating were end-user consumer products,” the former Tesla employee said.
While he cannot use his personal Model 3 for FSD Beta videos today, the former employee noted that he has attained access to other Teslas with FSD Beta. As such, Bernal noted that he should be able to continue his independent research and reviews. One such video has already been uploaded on the AI Addict YouTube channel, where Bernal briefly discussed his departure from Tesla before taking FSD Beta in his typical stress tests.
Despite his experiences with the EV maker, Bernal has noted that he still cares a lot about the company and what it is attempting to accomplish with products like Autopilot and FSD Beta. “I still care about Tesla, vehicle safety, and finding and fixing bugs,” he said.
Bernal’s latest video, which includes his thoughts on his departure from Tesla, could be viewed below.
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