In April 25th, Lei Feng network (official account: Lei Feng net) learned that the recent development of the former Tesla employee and the current Xiaopeng automobile employee Cao Guangzhi stealing the source code of Tesla automatic driving system Autopilot has been made.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla asked judges to put pressure on Xiaopeng to disclose its self driving source code and submit forensic images of relevant information on the hard disk. Tesla even wanted Dr. Cao to come forward for an interview in person.
In a formal statement, Xiaopeng said that in the past year, Xiaopeng automobile did not hide anything and has been trying to assist in the investigation of the case.But so far, there is no evidence that Xiaopeng automobile abused Tesla's trade secrets or other improper behaviors.
Shinji picked up some of the core messages in the statement:
1. Xiaopeng automobile is not a party to the case. Over the past year, Xiao Peng has provided a lot of assistance to the case and actively provided the electronic backup of Cao Guangzhi's working computer. In addition, Xiaopeng automobile also allows Tesla to contact the company's source code repository as of March 21, 2019 (the date when Cao Guangzhi was sued by Tesla) under the protection order of the court for evidence collection.
3. From the date of learning about the case, Xiaopeng automobile hired a professional third-party organization to conduct legal investigation and evidence collection. At present, there is no evidence that any Tesla source code, trade secret or protected confidential information is transmitted to Xiaopeng automobile company and its system.
4. The full closed-loop independent research and development achievements of Xiaopeng automobile in automatic driving have been reflected in the G3 and P7 of Xiaopeng automobile, and a complete and differentiated automatic driving technology system has been formed.
It is reported that the hearing on the lawsuit will be held in the federal court of San Francisco next month.
The history of the case of Cao Guangzhi
As a major case in the field of self-driving, Xinzhi driving has maintained a high degree of attention. According to the disclosure of public information, Xinzhi drive tried to restore the key node of this autopilot lawsuit case and the two sides diverged.
The core object of this dispute is Tesla's advanced assisted driving autopilot system, which is also the core of Tesla's automatic driving technology.
New Zhijia sorted out the R & D line of Xiaopeng auto and the action track of the defendant Cao Guangzhi suing in Tesla:
In December 2015, the R & D plan of xpliot 2.5 automatic driving assistance system, the first mass production and market model of Xiaopeng automobile, was determined.
Entered Tesla on 24 April 2017, mainly during the working period
In December 2017, the R & D plan of xpliot 3.0 auxiliary driving system was determined.
During the period of December 2018, Cao Guangzhi returned to China, went to Xiaopeng automobile headquarters for interview and received a written employment notice. (there is no intersection of time lines)
From December 28, 2018 to January 3, 2019, Cao cut off the working computer provided by Tesla and its icloud account, repeatedly logged into Tesla's security network, deleted more than 120000 documents during its browsing history, and announced his resignation on March 3.
Two months later, in March 2019, Tesla sued Cao in the United States for stealing trade secrets of autonomous driving.
Subsequently, in the reply of July 2019, Cao admitted that he had uploaded zip documents containing Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account at the end of 2018;However, it denied stealing secrets and said that it had not transferred any trade secrets related to Tesla's self driving to Xiaopeng automobile, nor used these materials for the benefit of new employers.
Therefore, Cao's upload of Tesla autopilot source code to his personal account has been confirmed.But the dispute in the case is whether Cao has provided the materials to the new employer Xiaopeng automobile, and whether Xiaopeng automobile has privately contacted the materials.
Although not the defendant, Xiaopeng automobile immediately took over Cao's working equipment for evidence preservation and launched a third-party license issuing investigation after learning that Cao was sued on March 22, 2019,The results show that no Tesla information has been transferred to the system of Xiaopeng automobile.
But Tesla refused to believe Xiaopeng's words.
In November 2019 and January 2020, Tesla twice sent court summons to Xiaopeng automobile, asking for more information for investigation.
New Zhijia also learned more about the differences between the two sides in a motion document of Xiaopeng automobile revoking or applying for a protection order and MPa. New Zhijia also made a key extract of the contents of the document.
1. It has been more than a year since the case was filed. Although Cao admitted some of Tesla's allegations, Xiaopeng said,Tesla did not actually accuse Xiaopeng of any wrongdoing or seek any temporary or preliminary injunction against Cao or Xiaopeng.
2. in the past year,Xiaopeng automobile provides Tesla with a wide range of information, there is no sign of any misconduct on the part of Xiaopeng.
On August 12, 2019, Xiaopeng automobile provided wechat information of and Cao, as well as email between Cao and his colleagues. Xiaopeng automobile voluntarily presented 12257 pages of documents to Tesla, and the forensic image of Cao's Xiaopeng automobile laptop.
After Tesla issued the first subpoena to Xiaopeng in November 2019, Xiaopeng produced a total of 6333 pages of documents in response.
3. On January 17, 2020, Tesla issued the second subpoena document to Xiaopeng automobile, and the two sides reached 10 agreements among the 16 requests in the subpoena, but there are still differences.
Xiaopeng automobile also pointed out that Cao was suspended by Xiaopeng automobile administration after he was sued. Before further notice, he could not use or touch any relevant account / system of Xiaopeng automobile. At the same time, his personal and work electronic equipment were confiscated, and he was deprived of all rights to access the system. So Tesla's claim is unreasonable.
However, in order to cooperate with the investigation, Xiaopeng automobile suggested that only the records of source code submission, revision and editing of Xiaopeng automobile during Cao's working period from January 14, 2019 should be presented. By March 21, 2019, it is the last day that it has access to the source code repository system of Xiaopeng automobile before being suspended, and it is unable to access the system of Xiaopeng automobile.
But there is no evidence that the USB disk Cao introduced into Xiaopeng's car is the same as the previously destroyed USB disk. Xiaopeng said it had purchased several identical USB devices for engineers to use at work.
In addition, Tesla also seeks all documents related to the criminal case filed by Xiaopeng automobile against Zhang Xiaolang in early 2018. Tesla thinks: Zhang used to work in Apple California, using a similar method, misappropriating the employer's self driving trade secrets, and joining Xiaopeng. The greater the similarity between the two cases, the less likely they are to be purely coincidental and more likely to be the result of planning, coordination and deliberate arrangements.
But Tesla's lawyers also acknowledge that there is no information, any facts or evidence that Zhang's case has any relationship or connection with the allegations in this case.
On the whole, both sides have their own opinions.
Tesla hopes to go beyond Cao's review of equipment and work products and get all the highly sensitive source code of Xiaopeng automobile; at the same time, it hopes to get a complete forensic image of the work computer of many other Xiaopeng automobile employees.
But Xiaopeng said,Has repeatedly and extensively complied with Tesla's reasonable evidence collection requirements, including thousands of pages of correspondence documents between Cao and Xiaopeng automobile. However,
In any case, there is no evidence of any misconduct by Cao or Xiaopeng at this stage. As for how the two sides will stand up to each other, new Zhijia will continue to follow up.
Autopilot route difference map
Both Tesla and Xiaopeng have shown great importance to the technology of automatic driving. The success of the Tesla Model 3 also confirms the appeal of assisted driving to car sales.
As the first tier of new car manufacturers in China, Xiaopeng motor is also working hard to build its own automatic driving system. It even invested heavily in building its own visual perception team and establishing an end-to-end closed-loop research and development system.
From the sensor configuration of model 3, G3 and P7:
Xiaopeng G3 is equipped with 12 ultrasonic radars, 5 HD cameras and 3 millimeter wave radars.
Xiaopeng P7 is equipped with 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 high-precision Bosch fifth generation millimeter wave radars, 13 automatic driving cameras, 1 in car camera, high-precision map and high-precision positioning; it is also equipped with NVIDIA drive Xavier computing unit.
Tesla's configuration is 8 cameras ,1 front millimeter wave radar ,12 ultrasonic radar.
The sensor configurations on both sides are not the same.
In terms of parking, Xiaopeng keeps the parking panoramic camera, which gives ultrasonic radar and visual fusion for parking recognition, which is very important for domestic scenes. But Tesla doesn't have a look around camera.
Another point is that in the whole automatic driving scheme, redundancy is very necessary. Xiaopeng has retained the supplier's redundant L2 scheme, and the whole vehicle has two sets of relatively independent sensors and control systems. Tesla has no redundancy.
In the processor part, Xiaopeng automobile adopts the dual processors of NVIDIA and Infineon, which are respectively responsible for the sensor sensing processing from XP and Bosch, and are redundant to each other. Tesla uses the FSD processor developed by itself to realize the sense processing of autopilot.