Apple was designing hardware specifically for self-driving cars, including a proprietary chip The affidavit says that Zhang's role was on the Computer Team, and he designed and tested circuit boards to analyze sensor data. A 25-page PDF he allegedly pilfered contained electrical schematics for "one of the circuit boards that form Apple's proprietary infrastructure technology for the product." An employee also showed Zhang a "proprietary chip."
Apple has 5,000 employees who have been told about "the Project," likely the self-driving car project According to the complaint, 5,000 of Apple's 135,000 employees are "disclosed" on a project which is likely Project Titan, Apple's project name for self-driving car technology. That's a significantly larger number of employees than was previously believed, although it's possible that these employees have only been told about a small portion of the project, such as cleaning digital maps for self-driving cars. Previously, the best public estimate for the number of Project Titan employees was 1,000.
Apple was building prototypes and had requirements for power, battery system, and "drivetrain suspension mounts"
Some of the technical PDFs that Zhang allegedly stole described requirements for a prototype. Although Apple has publicly alluded to its car project, it has never confirmed that it planned to build custom prototypes of any car parts, including sensors.
Apple has secrecy training specifically for its self-driving car project
In addition to the secrecy training for new hires and interns when they join Apple, apparently the self-driving car project had a separate secrecy training, too.
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