Tesla took to arbitration the case of an engineer stealing classified information about the Dojo supercomputer

Tesla submitted to arbitration the case of its former engineer Alexander Yatskov, whom the company accused of stealing classified documentation on the supercomputer Dojo.

Tesla took to arbitration the case of an engineer stealing classified information about the Dojo supercomputer

Tesla has a clause in its employment contract that requires employees to resolve workplace disputes through arbitration. This is an out-of-court method that relies on outsiders rather than the courts.

Tesla has previously been repeatedly accused of suing employees, especially over its handling of confidential information such as trade secrets, and then moving cases to private arbitration.

Shareholders have proposed removing the arbitration provision three years in a row, including earlier this month, but the majority voted against it.

In May, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Yatskov. He was hired as a thermal engineer and assigned to the Dojo project to work on the cooling system. In doing so, the company claims that Yatskov lied about his qualifications.

According to Tesla, soon after starting work, Yatskov began uploading "confidential and highly protected" information related to the supercomputer project to his personal computer.

In the lawsuit, the company claims that Yatskov confessed to stealing the information. He was placed on administrative leave beginning April 6, 2022, and was asked to bring his personal laptop to recover the allegedly stolen information.

Tesla alleges that the engineer brought the company a "dummy laptop," which was set up as if the employee had access only to "harmless Tesla information, such as an offer letter," and not Dojo-related trade secrets.

Yatskov resigned from Tesla on May 2. The engineer insisted he was innocent and now complains that the company is taking the dispute to arbitration, leaving him unable to defend himself in court.

Tesla originally sought "damages, as well as an order preventing Yatskov from disclosing trade secrets and ordering him to return all confidential data." But now the company is trying to recover only the costs of the investigation.

In June 2021, Tesla's director of AI, Andrei Karpati, unveiled a computing cluster designed to train AI algorithms that would enable the automaker to abandon radar and lidar sensors on self-driving cars in favor of high-quality optical cameras. According to the developers, the next step will be the production of the Dojo supercomputer.

In August 2021, Tesla unveiled the Dojo D1 chip to train artificial intelligence models inside its data centers. It is a 7nm processor and has 362 teraflops of processing power. Tesla's chips will help train models to recognize various objects from video streams collected by cameras inside their cars.

Tesla is also currently suing Rivian and former employees hired by the EV startup for allegedly stealing information related to its "next-generation battery."

Earlier, the company also sued a former employee who moved to Xpeng after Tesla claimed the engineer stole the Autopilot source code.

Meanwhile, Tesla has already won a lawsuit against drone startup Zoox for stealing some confidential information related to logistics systems.

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