Uber Denies Stealing Self-Driving Technology from Google

Francis Osborne
February 27, 2017

The day before, Waymo, a spin-off from Google's self-driving vehicle initiative, filed a lawsuit against Uber, claiming that the company had stolen designs for a key technology that makes computer-led driving possible. The suit claimed that Uber had stolen trade secrets related to Waymo's self-driving auto technology.

Call it another pothole for Uber.

"We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber workers seriously and we will evaluate this matter carefully", an Uber spokesperson informed Bloomberg. This lawsuit didn't exactly come at a good time. "Once inside, he downloaded 9.7GB of Waymo's highly confidential files and trade secrets, including blueprints, design files and testing documentation", the company noted. Ultimately, Levandowski was named one of the top-rank executives of Uber.

Waymo's lawsuit seeks damages from Uber, along with an injunction against the company, stopping it from unfair competitive practices.

Waymo filed a complaint in district court to stop Uber from using the designs and demanded it return any secrets it may have stolen.

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The technology in question is LiDAR, a laser-based radar system that helps the self-driving cars "see" what is around them. Without the alleged skullduggery, Waymo alleges that Levandowski and the other former Google employees wouldn't have been able to build the Otto technology that generated the windfall from the Uber sale.

"Its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo's unique LiDAR design", Waymo said.

Waymo, which is an Alphabet subsidiary, spent more than six years developing its own LiDAR system.

"Then he connected an external drive to the laptop".

The San Francisco company has tangled with authorities in California and around the world about how much of its drivers' histories should be covered in background checks and whether those drivers should be treated as contractors ineligible for employee benefits.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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