The "Full Self Driving" drama continues...
The latest chapter in the saga this week came when it was reported that Tesla had fired an employee about a week after he posted a YouTube video of his car plowing into a traffic pylon while using Full Self Driving.
Now former Tesla employee John Bernal received a separation agreement from the company during the second week of February, about a week after he posted a video on YouTube of FSD that now has more than 180,000 views, Bloomberg reported this week.
The video shows Bernal's Model 3 running into a green traffic pylon after cutting a turn too sharply in San Jose, California.
Bloomberg summed up the encounter:
About 2 minutes into the just over 9-minute-long video in which his Model 3 ran into the traffic pylon, he praises the system for slowing down to let another car go by and moving from a far-right lane to a left-turn lane in time to make a traffic light.
As the Model 3 is completing the turn, however, it has trouble finding the correct lane to turn into. About 2 minutes and 40 seconds in, the car runs a red light and turns right without stopping. A passenger brings up that Tesla had just disabled a setting in which FSD beta users were able to slowly roll through intersections without coming to a complete stop when no other cars or pedestrians were present. The carmaker determined a recall was necessary after meeting with NHTSA about the functionality in January.
Bernal’s Model 3 runs into the traffic pylon less than a minute later.
“We hit that. It’s the first, for me, to have actually hit an object on FSD,” Bernal says in the video.
The terms of his firing were never put into writing, he told Bloomberg, but he says he was "told it was in part due to improper use of FSD". Meanwhile, Tesla purports to have the FSD beta running on almost 60,000 vehicles in the U.S.
Bernal's YouTube channel, AI Addict, has more than 8,300 subscribers. He was told by a manager upon his firing that running his YouTube channel was a "conflict of interest" with the company. His FSD beta was also suspended based on his recent driving data, Bloomberg confirmed.
A company agreement for beta testers of FSD, which urges sharing of FSD experiences "responsibly and selectively" reportedly reads: “Do remember that there are a lot of people that want Tesla to fail. Don’t let them mischaracterize your feedback and media posts.”
Bernal's channel was known to include both positive and negative feedback on Tesla's software, unlike many
cult members Tesla fanatics who choose to only single out the good when speaking about Full Self Driving.