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Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump Pardons Former Waymo Engineer Anthony Levandowski

SEPTEMBER 04: Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski leaves the the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on September 04, 2019 in San Jose, California.

As he leaves the presidency to retire into private life in Florida, President Trump late tonight gave 143 pardons. One of the acquittals was for Anthony Levandowski, who was sentenced for taking Google’s self-driving technology and taking it to Uber.

Levandowski was an early staff of Google’s self-driving vehicle project, yet later conflicted with the board on the pace of progress. Prior to leaving Google, the specialist downloaded 14,000 records identified with self-ruling driving, including LiDAR sensor schematics.

Uber at that point bought Levandowski’s startup (Otto), and set him responsible for the ride-hailing organization’s self-driving endeavors. After a year, the Alphabet division recorded suit subsequent to finding that Uber’s sensor innovation was almost indistinguishable from theirs.

Waymo and Uber settled February of 2018, with Alphabet getting 0.34% of stock under the older $72 billion valuation. Uber made a deal to avoid using the Waymo technology and that won’t even be an issue today as the business has since been sold.

Following its decision, the judge directing Waymo v. Uber alluded the case to government investigators. In August of 2019, the Justice Department collected 33 counts against Levandowski identified with the theft of Google’s proprietary software.

After a year Levandowski was sentenced to year and a half in jail after pleading guilty. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic which prevented him from going to prison to service out his sentence and he won’t be serving it now that he has been pardoned by the outgoing US President. He would have probably spent about a possible maximum 10 years in prison with a $250,000 fine.

Below is a statement from the White House on the pardon, 

President Trump granted a full pardon to Anthony Levandowski. This pardon is strongly supported by James Ramsey, Peter Thiel, Miles Ehrlich, Amy Craig, Michael Ovitz, Palmer Luckey, Ryan Petersen, Ken Goldberg, Mike Jensen, Nate Schimmel, Trae Stephens, Blake Masters, and James Proud, among others. Mr. Levandowski is an American entrepreneur who led Google’s efforts to create self-driving technology. Mr. Levandowski pled guilty to a single criminal count arising from civil litigation. Notably, his sentencing judge called him a “brilliant, groundbreaking engineer that our country needs.” Mr. Levandowski has paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents to advance the public good.

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