Uber and Waymo Agree to Settle Case Involving Uber's Alleged Theft of Self-Driving Technology

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Over the past five days, Uber and Waymo have been entangled in a court case over Waymo's allegations that Uber stole its self-driving LiDAR system. Today, the two companies have announced that they reached a settlement agreement, under which Uber will pay Waymo a 0.34 equity stake, "amounting to about $245 million at Uber's recent $72 billion valuation" (via CNBC).

Additionally, Uber has agreed that it will not incorporate Waymo's self-driving technology into any of its own hardware or software. Alongside the settlement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a letter that the company "does not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber," nor that Waymo's tech was used by Uber in any way, but expressed regret for the ongoing trial over the past year and the events that led up to it.

To be clear, while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.

While I cannot erase the past, I can commit, on behalf of every Uber employee, that we will learn from it, and it will inform our actions going forward. I’ve told Alphabet that the incredible people at Uber ATG are focused on ensuring that our development represents the very best of Uber’s innovation and experience in self-driving technology.

Waymo's lawsuit concerned Uber and its acquisition of self-driving trucking startup Otto, with Waymo believing that employees at Otto stole information from Alphabet-owned Waymo and shared it with Uber. Despite Khosrowshahi's belief that no such data was seen or used by Uber, the company appears ready to put the legal battle behind it through the settlement and payment to Waymo.

As the fight between the two companies stretched throughout last year, Waymo began a self-driving car test in Phoenix, Arizona, which eventually expanded to testing an autonomous ride-hailing service with no safety drivers. With its fleet of more than 600 minivans, Waymo is considered one of the leaders in the field of self-driving technology, which Apple is now attempting to catch up with through "accelerating" its self-driving efforts in California.

Tags: Uber, Waymo

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
Uber is still cleaning up the mess left behind by Travis Kalanick...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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35 months ago

I suspected all along there really wasnt any case here. The judge saw this coming as well. Waymo just didnt have any provable damages. It was like, they were suing on principle. Also seemed like the documents that were "stolen" were taken on principle as well. As if, this is all MY WORK, that I invested my life in for the past few years so by god I'm taking it.
Oh, well its not your work its ours as you worked for us at the time.
Well, screw you, Im taking it and you cant stop me.
We are suing your new employer!!!
Good luck!!!! Prove they not only had access to MY WORK, (a.k.a. your intellectual property) and while your at it, prove they used it too!!!!
And thats were their case just fell apart. Easily predicted. I think if Uber wasnt dealing with such a god awful public perception of their company they probably wouldnt have even settled.

Based on all of the reporting out there, your version is very inaccurate. Based on Uber forking over .34% to settle, your version is inaccurate. The former CEO's behavior no doubt contributed to the willingness of Uber to settle. Levandowski's activities before leaving Google screwed Uber to an extent. Part of the reason Uber told him to kick rocks.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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