Xiaolang Zhang sent 24GB of “intimate” information about the Apple Car project to his wife before the company.
A former Apple engineer has admitted stealing sensitive information about the still “secret” Apple Car project.
Xiaolang Zhang pleaded guilty to stealing this information before leaving the company in 2018, when he moved to manufacturer XPeng.
According to an investigation by Apple itself , Zhang had transferred 24GB of “highly problematic” files to his wife’s computer. In addition, he took circuit boards and a server from the lab of the company’s autonomous car division.
After the defendant’s confession, a sentence is expected to be handed down on November 14, according to The Verge . Under US law, he can expect up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In 2019, it was discovered that another engineer had smuggled details about the project to XPeng, the same company where this former engineer worked. This case is still ongoing.
Interestingly, the fact that Apple reveals this data from the theft to its autonomous car division confirms the open secret of the development of its own electric vehicle.
California permits already signaled that the company was testing its technology on the road, but the iPhone maker itself always keeps its mouth shut on any future products.
The car is expected to have full autonomous driving capability and is rumored to work exactly like an Apple iPhone. With the help of the voice assistant, Siri, the vehicle could also be parked in a specific place.
Some patents that the technology company has acquired indicate that Apple could hide the steering wheel of the car and it would only emerge in an emergency.
Apple recently hired veteran Ford executive Desi Ujkashevic to oversee development of the car. Reports also suggest that Apple has collaborated with a South Korean semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) outsourced company to build the car’s autopilot technology.