Tesla Sues The Former Head of Autopilot Development and an Ex-Google Employee

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Tesla has filed a lawsuit against Sterling Anderson and Chris Urmson for two separate reasons, both regarding its Autopilot system.
Sterling Anderson is the former head of the company’s Autopilot department, and Tesla accuses him of attempting to recruit employees for a competing startup while the automaker still employed him.

Furthermore, Tesla accused Anderson of using his company laptop to collaborate with Chris Urmson’s startup, and they say he did that during office hours, and on the premises of the corporation, Tech Crunch notes.

Meanwhile, Chris Urmson, the former lead of Google’s self-driving car department, is also being sued by Tesla Motors. Urmson reportedly started a company named Aurora, which is focused on self-driving car technologies. The plaintiffs claim that Urmson wanted to poach Tesla employees, and Anderson was helping him by talking to his colleagues.

Anderson approached over a dozen company employees in an attempt to recruit them for the startup run by Urmson, but only two agreed to leave Tesla Motors to sign with the new enterprise.

Sterling Anderson is also accused by the carmaker of downloading “proprietary information” on his personal devices, along with attempting to cover his tracks by erasing the evidence when returning his company equipment.

An e-mailed statement from Sterling Anderson claimed that Tesla’s allegations are false, and he said that the automaker has “an unhealthy fear of competition.” Tesla declined to comment on the lawsuit.

This situation could become a lengthy legal battle, but the company claims it has evidence the timestamps on files were “manually hacked” by Sterling Anderson to conceal the acquisition of “hundreds of gigabytes” of information.

If we regard the matter that Tesla has discovered that Anderson had manually modified timestamps on files to try to hide his attempt of copying company data on his personal devices, it could be safe to assume that the plaintiff can prove the allegations that are used as a base to seek damages from both defendants.
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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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