Uber Denies Stealing Self-Driving Technology from Google

Uber Denies Stealing Self-Driving Technology from Google

Uber Denies Stealing Self-Driving Technology from Google

Waymo, set up by Google owner Alphabet, is taking legal action against Otto, Uber's self-driving vehicle unit that it bought past year for $700m.

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.

This is the official statement from a Uber spokesperson to Business Insider: "We are incredibly proud of the progress that our team has made". And now, Uber is firing back at Waymo saying that their claims are "baseless" - which indirectly means to say that the former is acting as a sore loser for not making it to the public trial stage before them.

Levandowski is now heading Uber's self-driving efforts at their Advanced Technology Center in Pittsburgh. Uber purchased Otto for $680 million in 2016 leaving Levandowski to overee their effort in developing cars driven by robots.

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Waymo's lawsuit also will escalate the tensions between Google and Uber, two one-time allies that are morphing into rivals. Waymo is Google's child company while Otto is a startup business that Uber bought a year ago.

"We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo's trade secrets and intellectual property", Waymo said. Uber bought Otto for 0 million previous year.

Waymo now operates as a subsidiary of Google's corporate parent, Alphabet Inc, but its roots are in Google, where Levandowski worked for years. The alleged theft included the designs for circuit boards needed for "LiDAR", an array of sensors that enable self-driving cars to see what's around them so they can safely navigate roads.

"To gain access to Waymo's design server, Mr Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop". Otto was then bought by Uber just a few months from the former's founding.

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