How to Jerry Rig your credibility

    JerryRigEverything is a successful YouTube channel that has accumulated 8.5 million subscribers since starting back in July 2012. Creator Zack Nelson often posts entertaining, well-researched videos every few days, but a few days ago began posting a series of out-of-character posts on X.

    The posts firmly targeted one company, Tesla, being particularly critical of their Full Self-Driving software package. He isn’t the first and won’t be the first to be critical, but these posts did seem out of character and at the time appeared to be an attempt at cheap engagement hacking which wasn’t something we’d seen from the established brand.

    Fast forward to today when he released a new video titled ‘What does Hands Free Driving even mean?‘. The title and thumbnail are catchy and inviting, nothing wrong with that, but immediately we spot the disclosure at the bottom of the video:

    This video is sponsored by Ford

    Sponsorships alone are not a problem, many creators use them as a revenue source and had this video been released in isolation, I don’t think today would have ended like it did.

    The video continues to show off a 2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium (with optional equipment). That optional equipment includes an active subscription to Ford’s BlueCruise driver assist software. This allows you to take your hands off the wheel when driving on supported highways which currently includes an estimated 130,000 miles across North America.

    The technology is good and those who are making vehicle purchasing decisions may find the video useful, the problem is, Nelson’s decision to bag on the Tesla (the competition) while simultaneously being paid by Ford.

    In the video at 2:15, Nelson details that he’s been using the Mustang Mach-E for about 2 months now, but fails to disclose if the car is a long-term review unit and will go back to Ford, or if it is part of the compensation package as part of the video sponsorship.

    The attack on Tesla’s FSD package with a backdrop of payment by Ford is a bad look and one he’s rightly received some feedback on today.

    It’s completely fair to compare ADAS systems between manufacturers, but it’s not ok to misrepresent them. Tesla doesn’t yet have hands-free driving like BlueCruise, that’s a fair criticism and if you look at this in isolation (or are paid to not look deeper), then you’ll miss the fact that Tesla is rolling gout FSD Beta V12.3 which by all accounts is performing incredibly well at driving on virtually every road and highway in North America and Canada.

    In its current form, FSD Beta currently uses a combination of torque on the wheel and driving monitoring from the interior camera to determine that the driver is paying attention. There’s no doubt Tesla’s plans are taking longer than originally planned, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a date in the future when we will see Tesla remove the wheel requirement and rely solely on driver monitoring in the future. Once that occurs, Tesla will have hands-free driving and given the substantially higher number of locations you can use FSD Beta, it will be obvious to all this is superior to BlueCruise.

    If you are buying a vehicle, ensure you consider the long-term implications of these ADAS solutions and if you want to evaluate their performance, watch lots of different videos from lots of different creators to get a diverse and hopefully balanced opinion of their abilities and usefulness.

    While I’m sure he’ll continue to make social media posts and videos, the credibility has been eroded and anyone viewing them, should know they are purely entertainment and opinions that can be purchased for the right price.

    The payment isn’t disclosed, but whatever it was, I hope it was worth it.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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