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Tesla is no longer suing its former Autopilot director Sterling Anderson over claims he poached employees for a new self-driving-car venture.
Tesla filed a lawsuit in January claiming Anderson teamed up with Chris Urmson, the former boss of Google’s self-driving-car project, to launch a competing company called Aurora Innovation while still serving as Tesla’s Autopilot director.
Aurora has agreed to undergo future audits to ensure Anderson isn’t keeping or using any of Tesla’s intellectual property as part of the settlement, a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider.
Aurora paid $100,000 to Tesla as part of a settlement to cover the cost of a future audit.
The suit claimed Anderson violated his contract by trying to poach at least a dozen Tesla engineers to work for Aurora while still leading Tesla’s Autopilot efforts. It also claimed Anderson downloaded “hundreds of gigabytes of data” with sensitive information that wasn’t returned upon his termination.
Anderson wrote in a Medium post Wednesday that Aurora commissioned a forensic audit after the lawsuit was initially filed, which didn’t find any evidence of confidential Tesla information existing on Aurora computers or being accessed by Aurora employees.
“Today, less than three months after filing (and even before we were permitted to file a response) Tesla has withdrawn its claims, without damages, without attorney’s fees, and without any finding of wrongdoing,” Anderson wrote in the post.
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the suit had been settled:
“Tesla’s lawsuit against Mr. Anderson, Mr. Urmson, and Aurora has been settled. Under the settlement, Mr. Anderson’s contractual obligations to Tesla will remain in place and will also be extended to Aurora, with additional specific protections being added to ensure there are no further violations. The settlement also establishes a process to allow Tesla to recover all of the proprietary information that was taken from the company, and it provides for Aurora’s computer systems to be subject to ongoing audits to monitor for any improper retention or use of Tesla’s property. Finally, $100,000 was paid to Tesla.”