Ex-Apple engineer admits to taking trade secrets for automotive

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Apple engineer

A case involving apple’s secrets of trade that began in the year 2018 has come to an end. Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple employee, pleaded guilty on Monday for taking secret data from Apple.

In July of 2018 a federal grand juror of San Jose indicted Zhang for obtaining a lengthy document that contained precise drawings of a circuit-board designed for use for Apple’s self-driving vehicle.

In April of that year, Zhang told Apple that Zhang was leaving so that he could be nearer to his dying mom in China. Apple discovered later about the fact that Zhang’s former employer went into the world of Xpeng which is an electric vehicle startup located in China. The day Zhang was scheduled to leave for his scheduled return to China Federal agents swooped in and detained Zhang at the San Jose International Airport.

Xpeng has dissociated itself from the investigation. The company said in the public Weibo message on Tuesday it said that the public-traded EV maker stated that it is not involved with Zhang’s case. It also said it is unaware of any specific details regarding the case It has not been involved in the probe conducted by U.S. justice authorities and is not in any issue with Apple.

“Xpeng is a leading player in advanced driver assistance systems in China and will continue to develop full-stack solutions,” the carmaker stated.

Another ex- Xpeng personnel has also been embroiled in legal battles between the American technology giant. In the year 2019 Tesla accused its former employee Cao Guangzhi had stolen Autopilot’s proprietary technology before he took an employment position at Xpeng as well as Elon Musk himself has been known to make innuendos regarding his Chinese rival. The suit was dismissed in 2021.

There are a number of reasons why that Xpeng’s Western competitors would be concerned about where it’s headed. As with its foreign rivals, Xpeng has cultivated autonomous driving goals. The Guangzhou-based company is in the process of conducting tests of their Xpilot ADAS system, a version of Tesla’s FSD and is looking to make the technology available in mass production with a reasonable price.

In contrast to Tesla, Xpeng has opted for lidars, many that are provided through DJI’s affiliate Livox for steering its vehicles. The most recent version Xpilot promises that it is able of navigating complex urban roads and auto-park what is described by the company as level 2.5 driving.

A portion of this technology may soon be accessible to overseas customers. In 2013, Xpeng quietly began shipping into Norway as the first destination in Chinese Nio’s expansion into overseas markets. In February the year of its launch, the company made public plans to expand into Sweden as well as the Netherlands by way of both retail stores owned by the official company as well as third-party distribution networks.

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