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Tesla has filed a lawsuit today against a former employee who worked on Autopilot, whom allegedly stole the source code of the semi-autonomous driving system for Chinese EV startup Xpeng, which describes itself as being inspired by Tesla.
We published a report last year about how Xpeng, also known as Xiaopeng Motors, was building a vehicle heavily inspired by Tesla to the point that some were calling it a “Tesla clone.”
Henry - Xia - Startup - Tesla - Automaker
Henry Xia, who founded the startup in 2014, admitted openly that he was influenced by Tesla and by the automaker’s announcement that they were open-sourcing their patents.
But they went a little further than simply using patents and they even ripped off the Autopilot user interface displayed in the instrument cluster for their electric SUV:
Kind - Similarities - Meaning - Tesla - Autopilot
Now, those kind of similarities take a new meaning as Tesla claims that one of its former Autopilot employees, Guangzhi Cao, stole the source code for Xpeng.
Cao was apparently one of just 40 employees at Tesla with access to the Autopilot source code and the company claims that he stole it when he left to join Xpeng in January.
Verge - Lawsuit
The Verge reported on the lawsuit filed against him:
“Tesla says that last year, Cao started uploading “complete copies of Tesla’s Autopilot-related source code” to his iCloud account....
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