Waymo (Google’s cousin company under their parent entity, Alphabet) filed a lawsuit in federal court against Uber accusing a former employee of planning to steal trade secrets regarding autonomous vehicles. There is a rush to create self-driving cars because companies such as Alphabet and Uber view this as critical technology that may upend the automobile industry.
Anthony Levandowski is at the center of this litigation because he worked at Google for pioneering the autonomous car project for 9 years. He left Google in January 2016 and now works for Uber. He is accused of retrieving information from a confidential server with designs of crucial technologies used for autonomous vehicles.
Uber believes that this lawsuit is just a “baseless attempt to slow down a competitor.” Uber said that self-driving technology has been Mr. Levandowski’s life passion and has worked on it since college. The race to self-driving automobiles continue and this lawsuit will be one to watch.
See Mike Isaac & Daisuke Wakabayashi, A Lawsuit Against Uber Highlights the Rush to Conquer Driverless Cars, N.Y. Times (Feb. 24, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/24/technology/anthony-levandowski-waymo-uber-google-lawsuit.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Ftechnology&action=click&contentCollection=technology®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront