Tesla is no stranger to allegations of employees stealing its technology, but if true, its latest case may seem particularly boring. According to Electrek’s knowledge, the electric car manufacturer has sued engineer Alex Khatilov for stealing the company’s customized Warp Drive.
The software is used to automate purchases and other systems within three days of starting work in late December 2020. Twisted the script files associated with the drive into his personal Dropbox account.
The company also accused Khatilov of trying to cover up his actions. According to reports, he lied that personal files were transferred only when investigators grilled him and claimed that he “forgot” these files when he let investigators into his Dropbox space.
Tesla said that engineers even tried to delete the Dropbox app and other files at the beginning of the interview.
Tesla did not disclose whether he believed Khatilov had coordinated with others. However, it warned that it had “not discovered” all of Khatilov’s actions and that he may still be sharing Tesla’s files.
Due to the pandemic, the staff has to work remotely, which makes it difficult to verify that files have been deleted.
The automaker has been highly protective of its technology in the past, suing Rivian and Zoox for allegedly hiring recruits who brought Tesla secrets to them. This is on top of prosecuting people like Martin Tripp, whom Elon Musk called a “saboteur.”
Khatilov’s case, if true, will only exacerbate Tesla’s concerns about theft of trade secrets-if people register just to steal automated tools, Tesla may jealously protect its most important electric cars and autonomous driving technology.