A former scientist pleaded guilty for stealing production keys from Google’s autonomous automobiles and sharing them with competitions purchased by Uber, based on his statement signed Thursday at San Francisco and obtained by AFP.
Anthony Levandowski, 39, worked at Google where he had been among the founding members of this project referred to as”Chauffeur” in 2009.
This project develops autonomous automobiles for among the online giant’s toughest businesses.
He confessed on Thursday having downloaded a complete collection of files a couple of months before his resignation in January 2016.
“I downloaded this document together to utilize it for the sake of another than Google,” Levandowski composed in the filing. “The Chauffeur Weekly Update comprised many different details concerning the status of Google’s self-driving automobile program.”
Among the stolen files included plans for your LiDAR system (for Light Detection And Ranging) that is a type of radar in which the laser replaces electromagnetic waves.
This crucial technology in autonomous automobiles is used to measure distances and assists in detecting obstacles.
Levandowski was the chief of this device responsible for creating this in-house LiDAR.
He just pleaded guilty to a few of these on Thursday, in exchange for abandoning others.
“All of us have the right to leave our occupation but not one of us has the right to fulfill our pockets when departing. Theft isn’t an invention,” said David Anderson, the federal prosecutor in August 2019.
According to the indictment, the scientist was connected with two competing businesses from Google working on autonomous automobiles, when he looked after their sensitive files.
Both businesses, Tyto Lidar and 280 Systems, became Ottomotto, which was subsequently obtained by Uber in 2016. That’s when Levandowski combined Uber.