Automotive News   |   Automotive News Europe   |   Autoweek   |   Automobilwoche

Automotive News China Newsletter
Register our free newsletter, sent each Monday and Thursday

     Automakers   Suppliers   Auto Show   Comment   Car Cutaway   Newsletters   Press Releases   Register for Newsletter
  Contact Us:   Editorial   Advertising   Subscription Information   |   About Us   Media Kit
Home >> Automaker Email this story   Print this story
 
Tesla sues former engineer now at Chinese startup for theft
Reuters | 2019/3/22

Tesla Inc. filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a former engineer at the company, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining a Chinese self-driving car startup in January.

The engineer, Guangzhi Cao, copied more than 300,000 files related to Autopilot source code as he prepared to join China's Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., the Silicon Valley carmaker said in the lawsuit filed in a California court.

Separately, Tesla lawyers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against four former employees and U.S. self-driving car startup Zoox Inc., alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations.

Cao, Xiaopeng and Zoox could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tesla is building a vehicle assembly plant in Shanghai, putting it in direct competition with Xiaopeng and other Chinese companies in the world's largest electric vehicle market.

Its Autopilot is a driver assistance system that handles some driving tasks and allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel, although the company stresses it still requires driver supervision and does not make the vehicle autonomous.

Cao's LinkedIn profile shows he has been working with Xiaopeng since January as "head of perception."

Xiaopeng, which debuted an electric car in Las Vegas last year, counts Alibaba Group Holding and Foxconn Technology Co. among its investors.

The company, also known as Xpeng Motors, employs at least five former Tesla employees, the U.S. carmaker alleged in the lawsuit.

Apple Inc. last year accused one former employee of stealing trade secrets related to self-driving vehicles and joining Xiaopeng's U.S. subsidiary.

Several companies are racing to develop the technology required to make cars drive on their own and lawsuits against former employees have become common as firms strive to keep proprietary information in-house.

Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo self-driving vehicle unit took Uber Technologies to court after a former employee stole thousands of confidential documents and became chief of Uber's self-driving car project. Uber later paid $245 million to settle the case.


Related Stories
  • Tesla to revamp Asia business to focus on China, report says
  •     --Published:2019/21/6
     
  • U.S. denies Tesla request for tariff relief on Chinese-made Model 3 'brain'
  •     --Published:2019/13/6
     
  • Tesla cuts price on China-built Model 3 ahead of launch
  •     --Published:2019/4/6
     
  • In China and beyond, Musk urges Tesla delivery crews to 'catch up'
  •     --Published:2019/31/5
     
  • Volvo's Polestar brand intensifies Tesla challenge with 'powerful little beast'
  •     --Published:2019/17/5
     
  • U.S. rejects Tesla bid for tariff exemption for China-made Autopilot 'brain'
  •     --Published:2019/7/5
     
  • Tesla China plant takes shape
  •     --Published:2019/30/4
     
  • Tesla: China output may hit 2,000 a week in 2019
  •     --Published:2019/26/4
     
  • Tesla Model S, parked, explodes in Shanghai, prompting probe
  •     --Published:2019/23/4
     
  • VW plans Tesla-fighting electric crossover
  •     --Published:2019/16/4
     
  • Tesla accuses China billionaire's engineer of stealing tech secrets
  •     --Published:2019/26/3
     
  • China customs lifts suspension on Tesla Model 3 imports
  •     --Published:2019/15/3
     
  • Tesla in talks with CATL for big battery order, report says
  •     --Published:2019/12/3
       
     
     

    Our Newsletter Editions
    Automotive News China produces two email newsletters each week. You can sort your news by the articles highlighted in each of our newsletters here.

    Select your newsletter     

     
     

    Automotive News China
    Room 1303, Building 2, Lane 99, South Hongcao Road,
    Shanghai 200233
    Telephone: 86-139-1851-5816
    Fax: 86-21-6495-0895
     
    Home | Help Center | About Us | Privacy Policy | RSS
    Entire contents © Crain Communications, Inc.
    Use of editorial content without permission is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.
    ICP06057291