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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 automobile, 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 response to the court docket 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 automobile initiative codenamed Project Titan. Primarily based on Apple’s grievance, Zhang transferred a 25-page doc containing engineering schematics of a circuit board for the corporate’s self-driving automobile to his spouse’s laptop computer by way of AirDrop. He additionally saved a replica 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 go away 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 be engaged on autonomous driving know-how, which revealed that Zhang was caught on CCTV taking {hardware} from Apple’s labs and transferring recordsdata to his spouse’s pc. He is anticipated to give up himself by June 19, after which he can be despatched to a minimum-security facility as shut as potential to his house in San Jose, California.

Apple’s self-driving automobile has been within the works for a decade, nevertheless it has but to launch a product customers should 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 automobile. The long-awaited Apple Automotive is now projected to debut no sooner than 2028.

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