science and future, technology

Tesla settles lawsuit against ex-Autopilot lead’s self-driving startup Aurora

Tesla has settled a lawsuit it filed against Sterling Anderson, a former employee and past director of Autopilot. Anderson was a key leader of Tesla’s semi-automated highway driving features, prior to leaving the company to found his own self-driving startup, Aurora, along with former Google self-driving car project CTO Chris Urmson.

The settlement clears Aurora and Anderson of wrongdoing, and includes a one-time “reimbursement” payment of $100,000 from the startup to Tesla. Tesla had accused Aurora and Anderson of poaching Tesla employees for the new venture, and the settlement also includes a provision whereby Aurora agreed not to actively pursue luring anyone away from Tesla, either full-time employees or contractors, until at least next February.


Tesla will also be conducting an “audit” of Aurora devices and material, run by a neutral third-party, to ensure no Tesla confidential info resides on Aurora-related devices and accounts.

This is actually a lot of what Tesla was looking for from an ultimate ruling in the case, per their original filing against Anderson, Aurora and Urmson. Tesla provided, through a spokesperson, the following statement to TechCrunch regarding the settlement:

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