Uber slams Waymo suit as 'baseless'

"Misappropriating this technology is akin to stealing a secret recipe from a beverage company", Waymo wrote in a blog post explaining the suit.

February 9, 2016: Waymo receives documents from Nevada regulatory authorities that show Otto mentioned an "i$3 n-house custom built 64-laser" LiDAR system that it said it had developed shortly before being acquired by Uber.

The complaint claimed Levandowski loaded 14,000 confidential files onto a laptop before leaving to start Otto.

"Ultimately, this calculated theft reportedly netted Otto employees over half a billion dollars and allowed Uber to revive a stalled program, all at Waymo's expense".

The lawsuit revolves around Anthony Levandowski, who left Google to launch a self-driving truck company called Otto, which went own to be acquired by Uber.

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and the sensor is part of a suite of tech gadgets - including cameras and traditional radar - that are engaged to generate situational data that is then processed by an autonomous vehicle's algorithm-fueled computer.

Waymo's suit alleges a former Google employee, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 "highly confidential" files from Waymo before he left to cofound Otto, a self-driving trucking company.

Unlike other companies angling to be the first to produce commercially-viable autonomous vehicles, Uber's very existence depends upon them being at the forefront of the advancing technology.

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"Our parent company Alphabet has long worked with Uber in many areas, and we didn't make this decision lightly".

We've reached out to Uber for comment, and will update if they respond.

"To gain access to Waymo's design server, Mr. Levandowki searched for and installed specialized software onto his company-issued laptop".

Waymo's lawsuit also will escalate the tensions between Google and Uber, two one-time allies that are morphing into rivals.

The suit alleges that a week after downloading the files and after removing a data storage card, Levandowski reformatted the company laptop to erase any trace of what happened to the downloaded data.

Waymo is seeking a court order prohibiting Uber from relying on its technology in its self-driving vehicles as well as damages that could be tripled on some of the infringement claims if it prevails in court. He is in the spotlight of an ugly lawsuit between his former employer Waymo and his current employer Uber. The email attached machine drawings of what purports to be an Uber LiDAR circuit board.

Earlier this week, Uber was in the midst of a lawsuit over sexual harassment charges within the company. The files allegedly 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.

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