Tesla Motors Sues Sterling Anderson and Chris Urmson for Stealing Secrets, Employees

Tesla Motors Sues Sterling Anderson and Chris Urmson for Stealing Secrets, Employees

Tesla Motors has filed a lawsuit against Sterling Anderson, the leader of autopilot team at the company for stealing secrets. The company has also named ex-technical lead at Google’s self-driving segment Chris Urmson. Both of them have been charged with poaching Tesla employees for their startup Aurora Innovation. Tesla has filed the lawsuit in California Superior Court, Santa Clara. The lawsuit claims that Anderson attempted to poach at least 12 engineers working for Tesla for their startup Aurora Innovation.

Anderson signed a non-solicitation agreement and Tesla Motors claims that he has violated the terms of the agreement. Tesla added that Anderson copied project data comprising of Tesla confidential and proprietary information to his personal hard drives. The company claimed that Anderson also altered timestamps on the files to conceal his actions. Tesla has slapped serious allegations on Anderson and it will be interesting to see how this lawsuit proceeds.

Tesla informed that two employees have left the company out of 12 that Anderson and his partner Urmson tried to poach.

Aurora Innovation has denied the charges labelled by Tesla Motors. The company said in a statement, “Tesla’s meritless lawsuit reveals both a startling paranoia and an unhealthy fear of competition. 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 informed that the company and Anderson had a non-solicitation contract with the company that extended 12 months after his last working day at the automaker. Tesla has reported amazing advancements in its autopilot technology in recent months. The company has gathered enormous amount of data from Tesla vehicle owners which has helped Tesla engineers to improve their self-driving technology. Recently, Elon Musk claimed that Tesla vehicles will have full self-driving capabilities within 3-6 months.

Tesla added, “Even after Tesla terminated Anderson that afternoon [on January 2nd], he and his partners continued to recruit from Tesla.”

"Now, 1.8 million miles of autonomous driving later, I’ve decided the time is right to step down and find my next adventure," Urmson said in a Medium post announcing his plan to leave Google in August. "If I can find another project that turns into an obsession and becomes something more, I will consider myself twice lucky."

This story first appeared on Austrian Tribune.

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