Google's self-driving auto company Waymo has filed a lawsuit against global ride-hailing app Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets and technology from it. The suit claimed the ride-hailing company had stolen trade secrets related to Waymo's self-driving vehicle technology.
Meanwhile, Uber said it has taken the allegations seriously and would review the matter carefully.
Before Levandowski left Waymo, he allegedly downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential design files that were later used to develop Uber's own LiDAR system. However, Uber managed to quickly catch up, the lawsuit claims. Waymo is Google's child company while Otto is a startup business that Uber bought past year. "Instead, Otto and Uber have taken Waymo's intellectual property so that they could avoid incurring the risk, time, and expense of independently developing their own technology", Waymo said in the complaint. Google's venture capital arm, Google Ventures, has poured in over $200 million into Uber over the years.
Uber acquired self-driving startup Otto a year ago for $680 million.
Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Sues Uber Over Allegedly Stolen Technology
After downloading more than 14,000 files (9.7GB of data), he attached an external hard drive to the laptop for eight hours. However, on Friday Uber said, it'll keep working on its self-driving vehicle technology as it fights Waymo court.
The budding rivalry prompted a top Google executive, David Drummond, to resign from Uber's board of directors six months ago.
In the complaint, Waymo alleges, "as of August 2016, Uber had no in-house solution for LiDAR", but then had its own custom-built system the next year.
"To gain access to Waymo's design server, Levandowski searched for and installed specialised software onto his company-issued laptop". One of their suppliers has now intimated them of the "striking resemblance" in the circuit board designs for the sensing mechanism.
The San Francisco company has tangled with authorities in California and around the world about how much of its drivers' histories should be covered in background checks and whether those drivers should be treated as contractors ineligible for employee benefits.