The Latest: Ex-engineer charged in self-driving theft case

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on self-driving theft case (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

A former Google engineer has been charged with stealing self-driving car technology from the company shortly before he joined Uber’s efforts to catch up in the high-stakes race to build robotic vehicles.

Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. His lawyers deny wrongdoing, saying the charges rehash claims settled in a civil case.

The indictment filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Jose, California, is an offshoot of a lawsuit filed in 2017 by Waymo, a self-driving car pioneer spun off from Google. Uber agreed to pay Waymo $245 million to settle the case, but the federal judge overseeing the lawsuit made an unusual recommendation to open a criminal probe.

Uber considered having self-driving technology crucial to survive.

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This story has been corrected to remove reference to secrets being sold to Uber.

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