Tesla employee fired after posting YouTube video of self-driving Model 3 running off a road

‘They have no idea how hard FSD [full self-driving] is’, says Elon Musk

A Tesla Autopilot tester says he was fired soon after publishing a video showing a Model 3 running off the road and hitting bollards while in "full self-driving" (FSD) mode.

Former employee John Bernal said the company also cut off his access to the FSD Beta system after being fired; just days after he posted the video to his YouTube channel, AI Addict.

Titled "Tesla Full Self Driving Crash", the video shows Mr Bernal and a friend in the Tesla driving through San Francisco. As it attempts to make a right hand turn into West San Fernando Street, the vehicle veers off the road into bollards separating the shoulder.

"Oh f*ck, oh sh*t, we hit that, we hit it. I hit that for a fact. I hit the brakes to the floor," he said grabbing the wheel, as the car comes to a stop.

"So we did hit the pylon, you can see there’s marks right here at the bottom of my bumper," he added after Model 3 had stopped. "It’s a first for me to have actually hit an object on FSD."

Tesla Model 3 crashes into shoulder pylons in Full Self-Driving mode

The video, which has almost 200,000 views, was posted on Friday, 4 February and by the following week he was fired.

He revealed the termination in a 15 February follow-up video, saying YouTube was cited as the reason why he was fired from the company, where he had worked since 2020, despite using his own Model 3, on his own time, with software he paid for and without having any "improper use strikes".

Tesla did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment. Mr Bernal, meanwhile, told CNBC that his written separation notice did not include the reason for his firing but managers verbally told him the YouTube channel was a "conflict of interest" and that he "broke Tesla policy".

"A manager from my Autopilot team tried to dissuade me from posting any negative or critical content in the future that involved FSD Beta," Mr Bernal told the outlet, referencing a previous video from March 2021 titled "Close Calls, Pedestrians, Bicycles!".

"They held a video conference with me but never put anything in writing."

Mr Bernal tweeted at Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday asking if he could "please have FSD Beta back", the early-access program of the experimental self-driving system.

Elsewhere on Twitter, Mr Musk responded to a separate question about the self-driving technology being used by different auto manufacturers.

"They have no idea how hard FSD is," Musk said.

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