July 25, 2017

Uber isn’t sure if it can ‘remain a viable business’ without building self-driving cars

Uber self driving car
By Diablanco (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re to believe Uber’s lawyers, the fate of the $69 billion company is tied up in one bid from an opponent trying to stop its work on self-driving cars.

Waymo, a subsidiary of Google-parent company Alphabet, sued Uber in February claiming it stole trade secrets. Weeks later, it filed a preliminary injunction to try to stop Uber’s work on self-driving cars until the case resolves.

Uber obviously doesn’t want that to happen, but not because it may just slow down its research. A stop to the self-driving car work would apparently threaten to topple Uber’s entire business.

In its response to court on Friday , Uber said stopping its work on self-driving cars would threaten its future as a “a viable business.”

“To hinder Uber’s continued progress in its independent development of an in-house lidar that is fundamentally different than Waymo’s, when Uber has not used any of Waymo’s trade secrets, would impede Uber’s efforts to remain a viable business , stifle the talent and ingenuity that are the primary drivers of this emerging industry, and risk delaying the implementation of technology that could prevent car accidents,” Uber said (emphasis ours).

Of course, many people question whether […]

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