Uber Sued By Google’s Self Driving Car Division

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Google’s Self Driving Car Divison, Waymo, is suing Uber over violations of the Defense of Trade Secrets Act, the California Uniform Trade Secret Act, and California’s Business and Professions Code 17200 along with patent infringement. Waymo alleges that former employees, now hired by Uber, stole data from company regarding its technological advances and are now replicating them at Uber.

Uber’s need for automation

Uber’s need for automation

Uber looked into producing its own automated driving cars back in 2016 out of fear that something cheap and good quality will make its way to into the market and eventually replace Uber. So back in 2016, Uber bought Otto, which was a self-driving car start up co-founded by former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski. Otto had started in 2015 taking in new researchers, working on tshe subject, from Carnegie Mellon.

Waymo’s work

Waymo’s work

Waymo on the other hand in this field since 2009 and has made great contributions to the emerging field alongside 2 million miles of testing. One such innovation, and the technology in suspicion of being copied, is LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging). LiDar uses a millions of laser beams to generate a 3D view of the world around the car it is implemented in. It has a key role in ensuring safety of the autonomous vehicle and others around it.

The Case

The Case

Waymo were accidentally sent, by their supplier, the schematics of the LiDar board that Uber were researching on, which was remarkably like the one they themselves had developed. Waymo allege that Levandowski had 14000 confidential and crucial files which included designs of the LiDar circuit. He is suspected to have copied 9.7 GB worth of data and then handed it to Uber.

Tough time for Uber

Tough time for Uber

As of recent, it has been hard for Uber to keep its reputation straight. The “Delete Uber” campaign began in January 2017 following their CEO’s inclusion in President Trump’s economic council. Then an employee reported sexual harassment against her. Their own CEO apologized for several complaints against the company such as lack of employee diversity and mishandling of service complaints.

Uber’s response

Uber’s response

Uber has said that they are taking the statement and the matter very seriously and that they will look into this. Uber’s popularity may decrease due to recent PR mishaps.