Tesla Motors Inc. Sues Former Executive of Autopilot System

Automotive - Pavan Pandey - Jan 27,2017

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tesla motors inc sues former executive of autopilot system

Tesla is set to charge its former chief of Autopilot System for stealing firm information and hiring Tesla staffs for a rival startup while still employed by the automaker.

American automaker, Tesla Motors Inc., claims that Mr. Sterling Anderson, who until early January was the manager of the non-technical program of Tesla Motors’ Autopilot program, made employment proposals to at least a dozen of his associates at Tesla Motors Inc.

Sterling Anderson started his tenure with Tesla last summer on the new autonomous-car project, Aurora Innovation LLC, before his exit from the corporation in the month of December.

According to a complaint filed in state court in San Jose, California, Mr. Anderson has been cooperating with Chris Urmson, the ex-head of Google Inc.’s self-driving car venture.

Tesla Motors has been at the forefront of innovation. Tesla’s high-profile Autopilot allows cars to steer and stay in their tracks without hands on the steering wheel in certain circumstances.

Tesla Motors, mentioning what it called a "get-rich-quick environment" in the division, listed in the complaint the latest purchase by General Motors Co. of Cruise Automation in July for approximately $1 billion, suggesting Mr. Anderson and Mr. Urmson wanted the similar aim with their new company in Silicon Valley, Aurora Innovation.

Aurora Innovation and Mr. Urmson are also titled as co-defendants in the complaint, which claims breach of contract and other civil claims. The California-based automaker, Tesla Motors Inc., is also looking for unspecified damages and injunctive relief.

Aurora Innovation stated the complaint was without merit and exposes both a shocking paranoia and an unhealthy dread of rivalry. Aurora Innovation said in a statement that this abuse of the legal system is a mischievous effort to stifle a contestant and destroy personal characters. Aurora looks forward to contradict these wrong accusations in the court. 

Tesla Motors also claims that Mr. Anderson transferred exclusive information onto his private devices and tried to delete the evidence when returning his company equipment in January.