July 21, 2017

Uber to Waymo: We Aren’t Using Your Robocar Laser Beam Secrets

UBER Logo on black background
Image Courtesy of UBER

Uber says it’s relying on commercial lidar for self-driving

Uber Technologies Inc. has an alibi for Alphabet Inc.’s allegations of trade-secrets theft — the ride-hailing company is using off-the-shelf technology in its driverless cars weaving through San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

Uber is trying to persuade a judge not to issue an order that might stall the development of its autonomous driving technology, and possibly even sideline the head of the project, engineer Anthony Levandowski.

In asserting its key defenses publicly Friday for the first time, six weeks after Waymo sued, Uber argues it’s been wrongly accused. It doesn’t even possess the 14,000 files of proprietary information Waymo says it stole and wouldn’t need them to advance its own self-driving vehicle program, as it’s relying on a commercially available navigational sensor system while it develops its own system, according to a copy of a planned court filing obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Waymo’s injunction motion is a misfire: there is no evidence that any of the 14,000 files in question ever touched Uber’s servers and Waymo’s assertion that our multi-lens lidar is the same as their single-lens lidar is clearly false,” Uber’s associate general counsel, Angela Padilla, said in a statement.

Waymo alleges Levandowski […]

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