Ex-Google Engineer Was Paid More Than $120 Million For Self-Driving Work

It has emerged that Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer being sued for allegedly stealing trade secrets and working for Uber, was paid more than $120 million for his work at the search giant.

In an arbitration demand, Google’s Waymo autonomous vehicle unit says that Levandowski received millions in incentive payments for the pivotal role he played in shaping the company’s self-driving efforts, Automotive News reports.

It is claimed that Google structured its autonomous program to provide incentives for robotics engineers to develop new driving technologies that are promising to alter transportation forever. Levandowski was one of the earliest team members, hence his huge financial rewards.

As part of the lawsuit filed by Waymo, it is asserted that Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 documents from a Google-issued laptop about the company’s driverless car program and colluded with Uber to use this technology. After the engineer left Google in January 2016, he went on to found self-driving truck start-up Otto which was ultimately sold to Uber six months later for $680 million.

Google also claims that alongside founding Otto despite his non-compete agreement, he also helped found Odin Wave LLC and Tyto Lidar LLC, two companies developing laser-based sensor technology, while still working at Waymo.

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