Waymo vs Uber Goes to Court


The lawsuit of Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, and Uber are going to trial. Waymo is accusing its former employee Anthony Levandowski of stealing 14,000 confidential documents and taking them to his new employer, Uber.

The fact that the case is going to court means two things. First, there appears to be enough evidence to at least garner an investigation and a case. This doesn’t mean that Uber has been found guilty at this point in time. Secondly, however, a court case also means that the legal battle will be taking place in the open. This might hurt Uber a lot, especially with all the bad publicity it has been getting recently.

The case is all about Waymo’s lidar – that’s a sensor that allows self-driving cars to “see” what’s happening around them. Levandowski allegedly stole those documents from Google and used them to launch his own autonomous trucking outfit, called Otto. Uber then acquired that company for 680 million US dollars and appointed Levandowski as the head of its autonomous vehicle research team. Now, he is being accused of stealing trade secrets.

Waymo was happy with the latest development: “We welcome the court’s decision today, and we look forward to holding Uber responsible in court for its misconduct,” the company said in a statement. And while Uber might not be found guilty of anything, it might still be the party that takes most casualties in the legal battle.

First, it is almost surely going to part ways with Levandowski, which will slow down its R&D efforts. Secondly, as mentioned, the company has been involved in one scandal after another in the past several months, severely damaging its reputation.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/googles-fight-uber-takes-turn-criminal/
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