Past few weeks haven’t been good for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who was forced by the leftists to quit President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council, and had to suffer a backlash for his decision in the form of ‘DeleteUber’ campaign. Things have taken a dip further, with Alphabet’s Waymo claiming that Uber’s Otto had stolen it self-driving car technology and trade secrets.
Waymo has said that its former employee named Anthony Levandowski took the information from the company’s server when he left in January 2016 to co-found a self-driving car venture that became Otto. This company was later acquired by Uber.
In the documents filed in San Francisco federal court on Thursday, Waymo blames Levandowski for “downloading 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files”.
"We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo's trade secrets and intellectual property," the company has said in its statement.
The technology that Uber is accused of stealing is called ‘LiDAR’ and is related to the radar system developed by Waymo to help its self-driving cars ‘see’ what’s around them. Waymo has alleged that the machine drawings of Otto's LiDAR circuit board bear a striking similarity to its own LiDAR design, saying that it violates the company’s intellectual property rights.
The complaint will intensify Google’s rivalry with Uber and its results will have lasting effects on the future of self-driving technology.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.