If you follow Tesla news, you're probably already well aware of the company's Project Dojo in-house supercomputer. It's no secret, as CEO Elon Musk has mentioned it on many occasions, and it's not uncommon to read about the computer on social media posts, especially from Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta testers.
That said, Tesla sued a former engineer for what the company says was an illegal breach. The Tesla worker allegedly transferred confidential information from Tesla to his personal devices. The information was reportedly related to the Project Dojo supercomputer. As the story goes, the former employee tried to cover up the breach by turning in a "dummy" laptop, according to Automotive News.
Former Tesla engineer Alexander Yatskov took a position at Tesla in January as a thermal engineer. Apparently, the company's Project Dojo computer handles loads of data related to Tesla's FSD Beta.
Much of the data is in the form of video, which takes up lots of space. Since the supercomputer generates a significant amount of heat, Yatskov was hired to help address the situation. However, Tesla says he obtained information about the system that was supposed to remain confidential. A company spokesperson noted:
“These thermal designs and data are confidential and tightly guarded within Tesla.”
Tesla has gone so far as to say that Yatskov already admitted to the download of proprietary information. The company explains that the former engineer provided it with a laptop to inspect, though it was reportedly a "dummy" device and not one of the devices the engineer used to download Tesla's Project Dojo details. Since then, Yatskov quit his job at Tesla on May 2 and has been allegedly unwilling to return the downloaded information to the company.
Automotive News reached out to Yatskov, who said he didn't know anything about the complaint. He also refused to provide further comments on the situation.
As part of Tesla's complaints against the former engineer, it said that his resume included inaccurate information about his former work experience and overall experience and knowledge in the field. Tesla shared via Automotive News:
“This is a case about illicit retention of trade secrets by an employee who, in his short time at Tesla, already demonstrated a track record of lying and then lying again by providing a ‘dummy’ device to try and cover his tracks."
Tesla's lawsuit aims to make sure Yatskov is barred from sharing the company's proprietary information, which it says must be immediately returned to the automaker. Automotive News adds that Tesla is also "seeking compensatory and exemplary damages."