According to reports from Tuesday, March 15, a former employee of Tesla stated the reason behind his sudden dismissal. John Bernal worked in the autopilot division of Tesla. He specified that he was fired for operating a YouTube channel that reviewed the self-driving tech of Tesla Inc.
In his channel AI Addict on YouTube, he posts video of himself driving a Tesla vehicle. Moreover, he demonstrated its Full Self-Driving in the videos. In an interview with CNBC, he specified that he had been fired from the company for violating its policies. Bernal mentioned that the company had cited the reason of his YouTube channel for his dismissal. However, he remarked, that the uploads were through his own personal vehicle, the Tesla Model 3. Additionally, the videos were shot off company time and nowhere near its property. In fact, it was even carried out through the software he had fully paid for.
For Tesla, the safety of the self-driving tech of the company has evidently become a rather sensitive topic of discussion. The senior director of public policy of Tesla Inc. had written a letter to senators in the second week of March. In the letter, he sought to provide reassurance to them about the Full Self-Driving. The system is essentially an advanced version of the famous Autopilot feature of Tesla.
Revelations post his dismissal:
In the video, Bernal stated that following his termination, the FSD system of his personal car was suspended by the company. He also mentioned that he had “zero improper use strikes” on the day his Full Self-Driving was suspended. Their “improper use strikes” are occurrences recorded by Tesla to aid them in determining when drivers are making use of the system safely.
The report also revealed how Bernal’s dismissal took place shortly after he posted a particular video. The video featured how his car collided with a bollard while it had the Full Self-Driving beta activated. After the review of Bernal’s employment at the company, reporters revealed details on his termination. Bernal’s separation notice did not particularly comprise any written details about the cause of his dismissal from the firm. Bernal subsequently revealed that managers informed of him breaking “Tesla policy,” and how his channel was a “conflict of interest.” However, he had apparently always been clear with his managers regarding his YouTube channel.
Bernal joined Tesla Inc. in August 2020 and was working at the firm’s self-driving sector at the time of his termination. He was an “advanced driver assistance systems test operator'” and launched his YouTube channel in February 2021. He revealed how a manager had warned him against posting any “negative critical content” regarding the FSD beta.
Currently, he claims to still care about Tesla and dedicated to finding safety bugs in the system. Following the suspension of his vehicle, he confirmed that he has a new Tesla.