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Ex-Apple engineer sentenced to 6 months in jail for stealing self-driving automotive tech

Xiaolang Zhang, the previous Apple worker who pleaded guilty to stealing details about the event of the corporate’s self-driving car, has been sentenced to 120 days in jail adopted by a three-year supervised launch. Zhang was arrested again in 2018 at San Jose Worldwide Airport simply as he was about to board a flight to China. He initially pleaded not responsible till he modified his tune in 2022 and admitted to stealing commerce secrets and techniques. Along with serving time behind bars, he additionally has to pay restitution amounting to $146,984, in keeping with the courtroom doc of his sentencing first seen by 9to5Mac. Zhang initially confronted as much as 10 years in jail and a high quality of $250,000.

The previous Apple worker labored as a {hardware} engineer for the corporate’s decade-old autonomous car initiative codenamed Project Titan. Based mostly on Apple’s criticism, Zhang transferred a 25-page doc containing engineering schematics of a circuit board for the corporate’s self-driving car to his spouse’s laptop computer through AirDrop. He additionally saved a duplicate of technical manuals that described Apple’s prototype to that laptop computer, along with stealing circuit boards and a Linux server from the corporate’s growth labs.

Zhang resigned from Apple following a paternity depart and a visit to China, telling the iPhone maker that he was going to work within the nation for XPeng Motors. That reportedly triggered an investigation, since XPeng can also be engaged on autonomous driving expertise, which revealed that Zhang was caught on CCTV taking {hardware} from Apple’s labs and transferring information to his spouse’s laptop. He is anticipated to give up himself by June 19, after which he can be despatched to a minimum-security facility as shut as attainable to his residence in San Jose, California.

Apple’s self-driving car has been within the works for a decade, nevertheless it has but to launch a product customers can purchase. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently reported that the corporate modified its plans and is now growing an EV like Tesla’s as an alternative of a full-fledged autonomous car. The long-awaited Apple Automotive is now projected to debut no sooner than 2028.

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