Tesla reaches agreement with former engineer accused of stealing self-driving code

Tesla and Cao Guangzhi, former company engineer, have reached an agreement. The professional, who worked on Tesla’s self drivinng technology, was accused by the electrical car company of stealing the source code of the autopilot. Cao admitted that he took the code, but stressed that he never used it.

In 2019 Tesla sued Cao Guangzhi after the engineer left the US company to work on their Chinese rival XMotors, on the charge that he had stolen commercial secrets. The theft would be precisely the source code of the autopilot assistant software.

The agreed agreement between the parties defined that Cao will need to pay Tesla. The amount to paid, however, has not yet been disclosed.

Cao admitted that he uploaded compressed folders containing the code to his iCloud account in 2018 when he was still working at Tesla, but also denied he used this code at Xmotors.

The engineer is no longer on the board of the Chinese company. To Reuters, Xmotors said that it respects the intellectual properties of competitors.


The Tesla vehicle autopilot controls the car using eight different external cameras, radar and twelve sensors, plus the on-board computer. The technology is different from Full Self-Driving (FSD), which is still in beta version. This other software promises to be able to change tracks during road navigation, park and maneuver in tight spaces.

The FSD, however, will still be enhanced for use in roads within the cities, according to the site of the assembler itself, and will not be fully autonomous when released. In March, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced the expansion of testing with fully autonomous software for more drivers. Even more advanced than the autopilot, the FSD still requires attention from the drivers, who are responsible for the vehicle.

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