Tech

Automotive: Expert finds Waymo technology in Uber's autonomous cars


In one of the controls agreed between Waymo and Uber in the previous lawsuit, an expert found Waymo technology in Uber's autonomous vehicles. This was announced by the car dealer without further details in his quarterly report published on 7 November 2019.

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Waymo had previously accused Uber of former theft of ideas, both sides had actually settled the dispute in 2018. Part of the agreement was the deployment of the independent expert who was to review Uber's technology.

He has now discovered that some functions of the Uber software infringe Waymo's intellectual property, the quarterly report states. This could lead to license payments to Waymo – or Uber would have to change its technology. That could require a lot of time and effort and further delay the market maturity of the technology. Waymo said they would continue to take all necessary steps to prevent Uber's confidential information from being used.

Lidar is the focus of the dispute

The focus of the dispute is the lidar, with which the vehicles scan their surroundings. One of the leading specialists, who first developed the technology for the autonomous Google vehicles and then for the newly founded sister company Waymo Anthony
Levandowski
, He left Waymo in early 2016 and founded the self-propelled truck start-up Otto, which was purchased by Uber a few months later for $ 680 million. Levandowski then became head of Uber's autonomous driving program.

In February 2017, Waymo Uber sued and said Levandowski had downloaded 14 000 documents before leaving. Uber always denied that the confidential documents had ever reached the agent.