Tesla fires employee for posting Full Self-Driving Beta fail video online

Sometimes speaking the truth may not be the best thing for an individual, but despite that, the truth should always come out. Recently the largest EV producer in the world Tesla Inc. fired one of its employees for the reason that he posted a video of his very own Tesla running into a traffic pylon while using the Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD Beta) on the vehicle. Just a week after posting the video, John Bernal, a member of the data-annotation team for Tesla’s Autopilot system, was handed a separation agreement from the automaker.

Tesla fires employee for posting Full Self-Driving Beta fail video online


The video posted by Bernal showed him driving in his Tesla Model 3 in the city using the Full Self-Driving Beta (FSD). At the three and half minute mark, it can be seen that his car makes a sharp right turn and drives over a green pylon that separates the road and the cycling path. The incident occurred in the city of San Jose in California and the video was posted by Bernal to his youtube channel – AI Addict on February 5th of 2022. At the time of writing the video has around 227,000 views.

During a telephonic interview with a news outlet, Bernal revealed that his reporting manager refused to write down the exact reason for his firing from the organization. The employee told the media that according to the company, he got fired because of improper use of the FSD Beta.

Four months before the firing of Bernal, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drew scrutiny over the American EV producer’s attempts to limit information-sharing by FSD beta users. The U.S. federal government agency in the month of October last year divulged that it had concerns about the reports which revealed that participants in an FSD early-access program had been subject to non-disclosure agreements that discouraged portraying the feature negatively.

The Tesla CEO Elon Musk just before receiving a letter from the NHTSA, on Twitter jokingly said that Tesla shouldn’t have NDAs as part of the FSD Beta program and testers are “not following them” anyway. He said, that the agreements would be “available in perforated rolls.”

According to the former Tesla employee, he never released anything regarding FSD beta or Tesla that wasn’t previously public and available to consume. It was also reported by Bernal that his access to FSD Beta on his personal Model 3 was also revoked by Tesla. The automaker has previously only done this to persons who had gotten “safety strikes,” but Bernal had earned none – even after the accident last month.

It’s still unclear whether Tesla is within its rights to do so, since Bernal purchased his Model 3 as a Tesla employee during a campaign in which the carmaker offered the FSD package, which was worth $8,000 at the time, to employees willing to test the beta for free.

Earlier a media report also disclosed that the members of the program should share their experience with the software on social media “responsibly and selectively.” The agreement also said that “Do remember that there are a lot of people that want Tesla to fail. Don’t let them mischaracterize your feedback and media posts.”