Uber’s legal battle with Waymo, the self-driving car company spun-out from Google, could have serious implications, particularly for Uber. 2017 is proving a scandal-ridden year for Uber, with workplace sexual harassment allegations and the departure of CEO Travis Kalanick. But there’s one scandal likely to hound the ride-sharing startup for months to come: a legal battle with Waymo, the self-driving car company spun-out from Google.
The case pits Uber’s self-driving car technology against Waymo’s. According to the lawsuit, former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded nearly 14,000 confidential files in late 2015 related to Google’s self-driving car technology before leaving the company to co-found Otto, a startup that developed self-driving technology for truck rigs. Uber then acquired Otto for a reported $680 million in August 2016.
Waymo claims the documents Levandowski downloaded were used to help develop Uber’s own self-driving car technology and misappropriates its trade secrets, particularly those related to Google’s distance-measuring LiDAR technology.
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law , argued […]