Tesla Employee / FSD Beta Tester Reportedly Fired, Conflict Of Interest

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If you follow Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta system, as well as the videos produced by various FSD Beta testers, you may be aware of the YouTube channel AI Addict. It’s run by former Tesla employee Jon Bernal, who’s been making in-depth FSD Beta testing videos for some time now. His videos have been widely shared, especially when they reveal major issues with the system.

Bernal’s most recent video, which is embedded above, opens with an explanation about why he no longer works for Tesla. You can call us naive or simply unaware, but we had no idea Bernal worked for Tesla in the first place, which is obviously part of the problem here.

The AI Addict YouTube channel offers many FSD Beta test videos of various types, though the focus is primarily on what Bernal calls “stress tests.” He puts his car through the paces to see how it performs, and the difficult situations often lead to many issues, interventions, and disengagements. Bernal says his hope is to expose safety issues to help Tesla improve the system.

Some mass media channels have used clips from Bernal’s videos to show how unsuccessful FSD Beta is in certain scenarios. One of the videos reveals the first online footage of the system in a collision, though thankfully it was only with a temporary traffic “pole.” After posting one of the more telling videos, he told CNBC:

“A manager from my Autopilot team tried to dissuade me from posting any negative or critical content in the future that involved FSD Beta. They held a video conference with me but never put anything in writing.”

Bernal says he was fired from Tesla in February 2022. Moreover, he claims Tesla removed his access to FSD Beta, but he has not had any strikes against him based on the company’s Safety Score system.

It seems his personal Model 3 still has the FSD technology, though he can no longer use it for beta testing. CNBC says the technology package was provided to Bernal for free along with his employee purchase. However, in the video above, Bernal says he paid for the technology. As you’ll notice by watching the video above and then reading the CNBC and Teslarati articles, there are still some notable discrepancies in the story.

AI Addict goes on to say that his YouTube channel was cited as a reason for his termination. Reportedly, Tesla said there is a conflict of interest, and Bernal “broke Tesla policy.” Bernal insists he ran his YouTube channel on his own time, it was never affiliated with Tesla, and he never revealed unreleased details or company secrets.

According to CNBC, Bernal started working for Tesla in August 2020. More recently, he was promoted to an advanced driver assistance systems test operator. Bernal shared that he worked for Tesla in the comment section of a video, but it seems it wasn’t made clear on his YouTube channel, so many folks, including the team at InsideEVs, may not have been aware of the affiliation.

Regardless of the situation, Bernal has made it clear that he will continue testing FSD Beta. In the video above, he is using a different Tesla that has access to the beta-testing system. Bernal says he cares about Tesla and wants to help with the safety of the system by highlighting bugs that need to be addressed and fixed.

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