One of the pioneers of the technology of self-driving cars Anthony Lewandowski was convicted of theft of intellectual property from a former employer — he will be in jail for a year and a half. It is known that Lewandowski is gone from Google, taking with him the secret of the development, which eventually sold the company Uber.

Ex-Google employee Anthony Lewandowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft of intellectual property, reports The Verge. This term puts an end to years of judicial proceedings, which dashed past accomplishments and rapid career growth for talented engineer who founded the technology of unmanned vehicles in the “Corporation of good”.

Lewandowski worked in the division of Google which subsequently will become a separate company Waymo specializing in Autonomous vehicles. In 2016, the engineer left the Corporation to found his own company Otto.

Shortly before his departure, Anthony Lewandowski stole from internal systems Google 14 thousand confidential documents containing information about research companies in the field of unmanned vehicles.

In the documents, including contained diagrams of printed circuit boards used in technology of obtaining and processing information about objects using active optical systems, also known as lidar.

Subsequently, Otto was acquired by the company Uber, which is one of the competitors of Waymo. In 2017 Waymo filed a lawsuit alleging that Anthony Lewandowski stole the data representing commercial secret. Soon after the initiation of the lawsuit, Uber has fired Lewandowski, expressing public regret.

Now the engineer will go to jail for a year and a half. According to the judge of Alsop, which handed down a sentence of house arrest would give the green light to any talented engineer who wants to steal trade secrets. Meanwhile, a prison sentence will be an excellent prevention of such incidents.

It is reported that the sentence will not take effect immediately — the beginning of his sentence Lewandowski was postponed for an indefinite period due to pandemic coronavirus.

“the Last three and a half years made me come to terms with what I did. I want to use this time to apologize to my colleagues at Google that I betrayed their trust and front of my entire family for the price that they paid and will pay for my actions,” said Lewandowski, in his official statement.

“Theft Anthony Lewandowski commercial secrets unmanned technology has become extremely disruptive and detrimental to the Waymo, was the betrayal, the consequences of which probably would have been even more serious if it went unnoticed.

We share the opinion of assistant U.S. attorney Catherine Wawrzyniak about what this theft ��erases the contributions of many other people who also put their blood, sweat, and tears into a project to create safe unmanned vehicle.

Today’s decision by judge Alsup represents a victory of the law on commercial secrets, which contribute to the development of advanced technologies”, — said the representative of Waymo in the comments to The Verge.