Technology is a great application of scientific knowledge that has helped the world in very many ways. However, if people handle this knowledge in the wrong way, it may end up hurting other people and businesses. For example, an engineer proficient in the sector of self-driving cars has expectations from people. Some of these expectations are to strive in making these autonomous cars safer and better for other people’s use. Levandowski’s story isn’t as bad as it seems.
The last thing one can think of is such an engineer using his knowledge for his benefit and committing crimes. The court should punish such an engineer. Anthony Levandowski’s story, a French-American self-driving car engineer, is an example of an engineer who is a fraud.
Anthony Levandowski’s Black Story
Currently, Anthony is facing a sentence of 18 months in prison due to accusations of stealing trade secrets. His story began way back even before his recent imprisonment in legal stories that have tangled Uber, Waymo, and Anthony. Levandowski was one of the founding participants in the 2009 Google self-driving work. Google compensated the engineer for over $120 million for his work.
In 2016, Anthony came out of Google and began his project called Otto with Claire, and Don Burnette. Later on, Uber purchased Otto and Google made more than 1 settlement demand against the former Google engineer. Uber was not a participant to the settlement demands but because of the compensation agreement with Levandowski, the firm protected him.
In 2017, Waymo, former Google self-driving project, filed a case against Uber for stealing trade secrets. It seems like Anthony had to share some of Google’s private information with Uber. The case ended the following year in a settlement course. Uber paid a financial clearance inclusive of less than 1% of the equity of Uber.
Now, Anthony Levandowski is in the middle of a case between Uber and Waymo.
Judge Alsup’s Views and the Court Proceedings
The judge says that he opts for a jail sentence than home detention. Alsup says that home detention would give a go-ahead to other experts to be involved in stealing trade secrets. Anthony paid over 750000 USD to Waymo and a fine of over 90000 USD.
“Today marks the end of three and a half long years and the beginning of another long road ahead. I’m thankful to my family and friends for their continued love and support during this difficult time.”
The US District Attorney’s office advocated for more than 25 months sentencing but Anthony asked for something different. He asked for a fine and 1-year home confinement which judge Alsup was against.
Claims in the New Case
A month ago, before Anthony’s sentencing, he filed a case against Uber. He says that the conditions of the Uber-Waymo settlements were inclusive of a promise that Uber will never work with him. That also caused Uber to break its promise to back his business. Moreover, Uber forced the engineer to quit from the Otto Trucking business. Anthony says that Uber should reward him earnouts from the Uber Freight’s earnings which were the new name Otto Trucking earned.
The total amount ought to be over 3.5 billion USD. Bloomberg reported that the Uber Freight was planning an investment worth 4 billion USD. Furthermore, Levandowski needs Uber to pay over 170 million USD associated with Google’s settlement.
Punishment and Crimes
Last year, the US District Attorney accused Anthony with over 30 counts of thievery. These accusations messed up Anthony’s project. Later on, Anthony and the US District Attorney agreed on a deal earlier this year. It permitted him to stay away from a legal fight. In the deal, Levandowski confessed downloading files concerning Project Chauffeur.
All in all, the court might give a solution to Anthony’s case before he goes to jail. This gives a chance to the engineer being a billionaire while in prison.