Tesla Settles Lawsuit with Ex-Employee Over Stolen Autopilot Source Code

Tesla is no stranger to lawsuits over inside information, and in a new update, one of the company’s lawsuits has arrived at a settlement.

According to a US district court filing dated April 15, Tesla has settled a lawsuit with a former employee who copied the Autopilot driver assistance system source code, as reported by Reuters.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2019, claimed that employee Cao Guangzhi copied the Autopilot source code after two years of working at Tesla, before moving to XMotors, the US arm of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) automaker Xpeng Motors.

While the terms of the settlement weren’t shared with the public, a monetary transaction from Cao was included. Cao’s legal representative also told Reuters that Cao did not access any Tesla data after leaving the company, nor did Cao provide the data to XMotors or anyone else.

Tesla currently operates a factory in Shanghai, China, placing the company in direct competition with Chinese automaker Xpeng in its home market.

Xpeng has been criticized in the past by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, among others, for its driver assistance system looking eerily similar to Tesla’s Autopilot. Musk has said plainly that Xpeng’s self-driving system is based on an old version of Tesla’s Autopilot source code.