Anthony Levandowski, the controversial self-driving car engineer whose shenanigans helped start a multi-million dollar case between Waymo and Uber, was sued by federal prosecutors with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets, according to The New York Times.
The criminal charges of the US Attorney & # 39; s Office of the Northern District of California mirror complaints filed by Alphmo's self-driving division in the 2018 lawsuit: that Levandowski stole 14,000 Google documents with own information about his self-driving cars & # 39; s downloaded on his personal laptop, which he then used to sell his self-driving truck company Otto for hundreds of millions of dollars to Uber.
BREAKING: US Attorneys Office charges Anthony Levandowski, former engineer at Google & # 39; s self-driving auto spin-off, with stealing the company's trade secrets and bringing them to Uber pic.twitter.com/YqSRdwFSfD
– Evan Sernoffsky (@EvanSernoffsky) August 27, 2019
Levandowski has always been a notorious figure in the world of self-driving cars. During his time at Google, he secretly modified the company's self-driving software so that the cars could run on otherwise prohibited routes, according to The New Yorker. During deposits prior to the Waymo v. Uber trial, Levandowski repeatedly pleaded on the fifth. Uber fired Levandowski in 2017 and settled the lawsuit in February 2018.
During the February 2018 trial, lawyers painted a photo of Levandowski for Waymo as a problematic employee who clashed with his new boss about their slower, more cautious approach to self-driving cars. New York magazine Levandowski once attributed by saying, "I am angry that we did not have the first death" to a group of Uber engineers after a driver died in a Tesla at Autopilot in 2016. (Levandowski denied ever saying it.) His words would be dark foresight turned out to be: in March a self-driving Uber met a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.
A Waymo spokesperson said in a statement: "We have always believed that competition must be fueled by innovation, and we appreciate the work of the US law firm and the FBI in this case."
The development of …