Ex-Apple engineer admits stealing automotive commerce secrets and techniques – TechCrunch


    A case regarding Apple’s driving commerce secrets and techniques which began in 2018 has come to a detailed. Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple worker, pleaded responsible on Monday to stealing confidential info from Apple.

    In July 2018, a federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Zhang for acquiring a 25-page doc containing detailed drawings of a circuit board designed for use in Apple’s autonomous automobile.

    In April that 12 months, Zhang advised Apple that he was resigning to be nearer to his unwell mom in China. Apple later realized that the previous worker had gone on to work for Xpeng, an electrical automobile upstart in China. On the day of Zhang’s deliberate return to China, federal brokers intercepted and arrested the engineer on the San Jose Worldwide Airport.

    Xpeng has distanced itself from the case. In its official Weibo submit on Tuesday, the publicly traded EV maker mentioned it has nothing to do with Zhang’s case, has no data of any case element, has not been concerned within the investigation by the U.S. judiciary authorities, and has no associated dispute with Apple.

    “Xpeng is a number one participant in superior driver help techniques in China and can proceed to develop full-stack options,” the carmaker mentioned.

    One other former Xpeng workers has additionally been ensnarled in authorized disputes with an American tech large. In 2019, Tesla alleged that its ex-employee Cao Guangzhi had stolen Autopilot’s proprietary know-how earlier than taking a job at Xpeng, and Elon Musk himself has publicly made innuendos about his Chinese language challenger. The lawsuit was dropped in 2021.

    There are causes Xpeng’s Western rivals could be nervous about the place it’s going. Like its international opponents, Xpeng has cultivated autonomous driving ambitions. The Guangzhou-based firm has been busy testing its Xpilot ADAS system, a counterpart to Tesla’s FSD, and needs to mass-produce the answer at inexpensive prices.

    Completely different from Tesla, Xpeng has opted for lidars, a few of that are equipped by DJI-affiliated Livox, to steer its automobiles. The newest model of Xpilot claims to have the ability to navigate complicated city roads and auto-park in what the corporate labels as Degree 2.5 driving.

    A few of that know-how might quickly be obtainable to abroad customers. Final 12 months, Xpeng quietly started transport in Norway, additionally the primary cease in its Chinese language rival Nio’s abroad growth. In February, the corporate introduced plans to enter Sweden and the Netherlands by means of each official retail shops and third-party distribution networks.


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