Anthony Levandowski, 33, is one of the pioneers of autonomous car technology. He is accused of stealing data late 2015 and early 2016, while working for Waymo, the subsidiary of Alphabet self-driving cars, the parent company of Google.
He left Waymo early 2016 before taking over the Uber Autopilot Project, which has since fired him.
The charges against him are similar to those made last year by Waymo against Uber. The two parties then reached an amicable agreement.
Anthony Levandowski faces up to several years in prison if convicted. He has not stolen anything and will prove his innocence in the upcoming trial, his lawyers said.
(Alexandria Sage and Dan Levine, Patrick Vignal for French service)