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Tesla is Suing its Former Autopilot Director

The director is being accused of stealing data.

Tesla’s former Autopilot director, Sterling Anderson, is being sued by the company for allegedly stealing information for use at a competing autonomous car company. According to the lawsuit, which was filed at the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara on Tuesday, Anderson partnered with Chris Urmson, the former head of Google’s self-driving car project, to launch a competing venture called Aurora Innovation.

The lawsuit claims that Anderson broke his contract while employed as director of Tesla’s Autopilot programs from November 2015 until December 2016. He did this by attempting to recruit at least a dozen Tesla engineers for Aurora while still employed by Tesla. The lawsuit also claims he download “hundreds of gigabytes of data,” which he failed to return upon leaving the company. Anderson also took a company laptop to Urmson’s home, where he proceeded to open a document called “Recruiting targets” (never label your illegal documents plainly!)

Sterling Anderson

Anderson, Urmson, and Aurora Innovation are listed as defendants on the lawsuit, and Tesla is seeking a jury trial to resolve the matter.

“Tesla’s meritless lawsuit reveals both a startling paranoia and an unhealthy fear of competition,” Aurora wrote in a statement to reporters from Business Insider. “This abuse of the legal system is a malicious attempt to stifle a competitor and destroy personal reputations. Aurora looks forward to disproving these false allegations in court and to building a successful self-driving business.” Tesla has declined to comment.

source: Business Insider

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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