American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. (TSLA) has fired an employee after the employee posted a video of his experience of a crash while the car was on Full Self-Drive Beta.
The FSD Beta feature has caused multiple crashes in the recent past and the company is currently entangled in a lawsuit filed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Currently, only a select group of Tesla owners who have a near-perfect safety test -score are allowed to test the autonomous driving software.
One of the most frequent testers for the feature was a certain John Bernal, who used to post videos of his tests on YouTube on the channel, AI Addict. The company said to CNBC, “Tesla has fired a former Autopilot employee named John Bernal after he shared candid video reviews on his YouTube channel, AI Addict, showing how the company’s Full Self Driving Beta system worked in different locations around Silicon Valley.”
A manager of the company has also said that Bernal was warned regarding his Youtube channel. The company said last year that it is asking the testers to not publish videos of crashes. The company included a non-disclosure agreement in the contract which asked the buyers to abstain from making the crashes public. The NDA read,” there are a lot of people that want Tesla to fail; Don’t let them mischaracterize your feedback and media posts.”
The video is question was posted after almost a year. It showed the car on FSD crashed into side rails. It was a minor bump but the video raked over 200,000 views, multiple times than the previous videos. The firing came in after just weeks of the video going viral.
While the company says that FSD is able to take the car to destinations, the driver should be always alert and ready to take control at any given moment due to the software’s occasional glitches. The name, albeit futuristic, is deceiving to an extent as it is clearly not “full self-drive” if the driver needs to stay at the helm. It is a second-degree driving assistance system.
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