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Former US President Donald Trump Pardons Anthony Levandowski, the ex-Waymo And Uber Engineer 

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison at the time, though his sentence was deferred till the COVID19 pandemic eased.


Levandowski has been pardoned by Donald Trump, former US president
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Levandowski has been pardoned by Donald Trump, former US president

Former US President Donald Trump pardoned shamed ex Waymo and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski who was sentenced to jail in the aftermath of the Uber and Waymo case. Levandowski was the pioneering engineer who developed core technology for self-driving cars who helped kickstart the self-driving car inside Google X before it was graduated to being am Alphabet group company called Waymo. After leaving Waymo, Levandowski founded a self-driving truck startup called Otto which he sold to Uber which formed the foundation of ride-sharing services self-driving ambitions. 

Last year, Levandowski had pleaded guilty on the account of stealing materials from Google where he was the engineering lead for the self-driving car project, before leaving to found Otto that he sold to Uber. The judge at the time said that his crime constituted the “biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen.” 

Now on the last day of Trump’s administration, the former president issued stirs of pardons – the department of justice and commutations that covered people who worked on his campaign like Steve Bannon and Elliott Broidy as well as Levandowski. 

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Waymo is the pioneer in self driving technology

“President Trump granted a full pardon to Anthony Levandowski. This pardon is strongly supported by James Ramsey, Peter Thiel, Miles Ehrlich, Amy Craig, Michael Ovitz, Palmer Luckey, Ryan Petersen, Ken Goldberg, Mike Jensen, Nate Schimmel, Trae Stephens, Blake Masters, and James Proud, among others. Mr Levandowski is an American entrepreneur who led Google’s efforts to create self-driving technology. Mr Levandowski pled guilty to a single criminal count arising from civil litigation. Notably, his sentencing judge called him a “brilliant, groundbreaking engineer that our country needs.” Mr Levandowski has paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents to advance the public good,” said the White House press secretary. 

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Uber sold its self-driving car unit to Aurora 

The White House press release noted that Pay Pal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel alongside Palmer Luckey were amongst the people who supported the pardon for Levandowski. They claimed he “paid a significant price for his actions and plans to devote his talents to advance the public good.” 

It is important to note that the plea covered only a single charge, omitting mention of the 33 charges he’d been indicted on. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison at the time, though his sentence was deferred till the COVID19 pandemic eased. A court also ordered Levandowski to pay Google $179 million to resolve a contract dispute, while his plea included $756,499 in restitution and a $95,000 fine. 

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The Google and Uber settlement gave Waymo handed it a $245 million equity in Uber and also a promise that it would not use Google’s technology in its self-driving car unit. This also resulted in Uber selling its entire self-driving unit to Aurora. 

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