Tesla whistleblower raises concerns about FSD safety
In a recent interview with the BBC, former Tesla employee Lukasz Krupski, who previously leaked accident reports and internal documents, expressed serious doubts about the safety of Tesla's autonomous driving system. Krupski's revelations shed light on what he calls "experiments in public roads" and raise questions about the readiness of FSD hardware and software.
Krupski, who received the Whistleblowing Prize from the nonprofit group Blueprint for Free Speech, revealed that he had access to a wide range of internal data at Tesla, including serious safety lapses. These lapses posed risks not only to Tesla's customers but also to other people on the road. Krupski highlighted issues such as sudden accelerations and braking, questioning the reliability of the FSD system.Lukasz Krupski
The Whistleblower Prize recognition came after Krupski decided to share data with Handelsblatt, a German business newspaper, where he exposed lists of employees, personal information, accident reports, and internal communications within Tesla. This data formed the basis of reports on the company's challenges in manufacturing the recently unveiled Cybertruck.
Krupski claims to have faced harassment, threats, and eventual termination from his position near Oslo. His willingness to speak out against what he perceived as grave safety problems at his workplace ultimately led to his departure from Tesla.
Tesla responded to Krupski's actions by taking legal action against him, accusing him of misappropriating company information. A Norwegian court granted an injunction against Krupski, preventing him from further distributing company information and seizing his laptop.
In addition to the legal battle, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating Tesla in response to crashes, some of which resulted in fatalities. Krupski, who was interviewed by the NHTSA several times, has also provided information to the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding Tesla's accounting practices.
One of the concerning aspects of Krupski's revelations is the ease with which he accessed personal information about Tesla employees. The Netherlands Data Protection Authority is now investigating this data breach, and former Tesla employee Benson Pai has filed a lawsuit alleging that the company failed to implement adequate data security procedures to prevent unauthorized access.
Krupski's intent to sue Tesla for compensation over his firing has hit a roadblock due to financial constraints, as he has depleted his savings. This situation underscores the personal and financial challenges whistleblowers often face when they come forward with crucial information.
Tesla, on the other hand, has defended its FSD system, citing a lower crash rate for vehicles using it compared to those without it. However, the company has faced numerous lawsuits related to crashes, with juries typically siding with the automaker.
As concerns about the safety and reliability of Tesla's autonomous driving system persist, regulators, consumers, and the company itself need to address these issues collaboratively. The challenges raised by whistleblowers like Lukasz Krupski highlight the importance of transparency and accountability in the rapidly evolving world of electric cars and autonomous driving technology.
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