Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Uber says its self-driving technology differs from Waymo's

Uber says its self-driving technology differs from Waymo's

Uber is scoffing at claims that its expansion into self-driving cars hinges on trade secrets stolen from a Google spinoff, arguing that its ride-hailing service has been working on potentially superior technology.

Waymo also alleged that its former manager Anthony Levandowski downloaded thousands of key files describing the technology before resigning from his post and subsequently launching Otto - which Uber acquired just three months later, for an estimated $680 million.

Uber's second line of defence is that the LiDAR technology it is developing is completely different to the tech detailed in the documents allegedly stolen by Levandowski.

US District Judge William Alsup has said, however, that he will not accept Uber's defence of being unable to find the files as a reason not to grant the injunction.

Once a Google ally, Uber emerged as a rival in the self-driving auto market in early 2015 when it began developing its own fleet of autonomous vehicles. Levandowski's lawyers - not Uber - had attempted to use a broad application of the Fifth amendment in part to to block the report from being included in court, according to the New York Times.

In the past one week this case has taken lots of twists and turns and its very interesting to see if Uber could withstand the allegations imposed by Waymo and get clean out of it.

Jay Z Ditches Apple Music and Spotify for Exclusive Streaming on Tidal
Interestingly, nearly all of Jay Z's albums are still available to stream on Google Play Music. Last year, Jay Z's Blueprint series was removed from streaming services as well.

Twitter Sues U.S. to Block Unmasking of Anti-Trump User
The Constitution does not allow the government to suppress the speech of either current or former government workers, Twitter's lawsuit contends.

Baby on board: Airline crew delivers baby girl mid-flight
The global airline claimed in a statement that the crew responded promptly as the pregnant woman complained of pain. Kadiju's place of birth, and ultimately her nationality, could be an interesting matter of debate.

"I would love to put Mr. Levandowski on the stand to explain to you what happened, because I think he has a good story to tell", Gonzalez said.

Waymo alleges Levandowski plotted his betrayal to Uber while he was still an executive at the Google unit. Uber says its in-house lidar design was set by its roboticist Scott Boehmke, who named the project "Fuji", according to Friday's filing. However, Uber claims Tyto didn't include any former Waymo staff. It said that the accusations were "demonstrably false".

The case is Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., 17-cv-00939, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

"Frankly, we obviously have a conflict here", Uber's attorney Arturo Gonzalez said to Judge Aslup during a closed-door hearing last week.

"To hinder Uber's continued progress in its independent development of an in-house lidar that is fundamentally different than Waymo's, when Uber has not used any of Waymo's trade secrets, would impede Uber's efforts to remain a viable business, stifle the talent and ingenuity that are the primary drivers of this emerging industry, and risk delaying the implementation of technology that could prevent auto accidents", Uber said in Friday's filing.

Like this: