Tesla Settles Lawsuit With Ex-Employee Over Autopilot Code

Tesla Inc TSLA has settled a lawsuit against a former employee who copied the source code of the company's Autopilot technology before leaving the company to work for XMotors, the U.S. unit of China's Xpeng Inc. XPEV.

In March 2019, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Guangzhi Cao, a former engineer at the company, alleging that he uploaded more than 300,000 files and directories containing the Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account.

The company said Cao tried to hide his activities by deleting 120,000 files from his work computer, clearing his browser history and disconnecting from his personal iCloud account.

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The terms of settlement were not publicly disclosed, although it is known that Cao made a monetary payment to Tesla to resolve the matter.

Cao had acknowledged uploading the Autopilot data while a Tesla employee, but said he deleted the information after leaving the company.

In a statement to Reuters, Cao's attorney said he never accessed Tesla data after he left the company and did not provide any Tesla information to XMotors or other companies.

The lawsuit against Cao did not include XMotors, whose parent company is viewed as a Tesla rival in the Chinese market. XMotors has denied being in possession of any proprietary Tesla information.

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