Elon Musk: ‘we probably don't need' NDAs for Tesla's ‘Full Self-Driving' beta

Tesla has been making participants in the “Full Self-Driving” beta test sign non-disclosure agreements, but CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday “we probably don’t need” them.

© Asa Mathat

The reason? “There’s a lot of videos” being shared of the beta software in action, Musk said on Tuesday during the 2021 Code Conference. “People don’t seem to listen to me” and are “just ignoring it anyway.”

“I don’t know why there’s an NDA,” he said.

Tesla has had a small group of owners testing out the beta version of its “Full Self-Driving” software — which, despite the name, does not make the company’s cars fully autonomous — on public roads for about a year now. But this week, Vice reported that the company makes participants in the program sign NDAs. These agreements even discourage people from sharing footage of the beta software performing poorly because “there are a lot of people that want Tesla to fail.”

The details about the NDA — and Musk’s apparent reversal on using them — come as Tesla is set to rapidly expand the number of people who have access to the software, despite a recent warning for caution from the head of the National Transportation Safety Board. Musk and his company say that they are using the sensors in Tesla’s cars to make sure only safe drivers enter the program.

“The transition period to new technology is always a little bumpy,” he said Tuesday.

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