Ex-Google Autonomous Car Engineer Made Over $120 Million, Lawsuit Reveals

They say that you will never work for a day in your life if you are operating in a field that is your passion. While this may be true, you still need to eat, pay bills, and have a place to live.
Waymo's self-driving car 6 photos
Photo: Waymo
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A lawsuit between Waymo and Uber has revealed what kind of income can be made by a talented (we presume) engineer who is experienced with autonomous cars.

Apparently, Mr. Anthony Levandowski, a former employee of Google, collected over $120 million in incentive payments from the Mountain View giant, Automotive News reports.

The detailed nature of those incentives is not mentioned, but do not dream of earning that much money as a junior engineer if you don't have a clue about this type of work. The figures came to public attention after the conglomerate’s autonomous car division, renamed Waymo, asked for arbitration against its former employee.

Levandowski was accused of breaching his contract with the conglomerate after attempting to recruit people from its ranks for its rivals, while he was still working there.

The current employer of Mr. Levandowski is Uber, which bought Otto, a company where the former Google employee had participation without mentioning it to his employers. The Otto company was not started from scratch, as it was renamed from Tyto, a start-up that Google once considered acquiring.

Tyto Lidar LCC was investigated for purchase by Google, and Levandowski was a part of that process, in spite of the fact that he had participation in the firm.

Moreover, he was also involved in another business, which is named Odin Wave LLC. This involvement was more than just owning stocks, as the former Google employee helped found both enterprises.

All of the facts above were discovered in a lawsuit between Waymo and Uber, which was started after a supplier accidentally CC’d the former in reply to the latter. Until that response, the theft of intellectual property had not been discovered.

Evidence that pointed to a tech theft were still in the company-issued laptop’s logs after one of the employees who stole proprietary designs copied it to an external drive. The defendant in the latest trial is one of those employees.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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