Shedding Some Light on a Shady Business: Waymo and Uber Face Off in LiDAR Trade Secret Case

Earlier today, 5 February 2018, in a San Francisco courtroom, lawyers began to lay their arguments for a case that will have big repercussions in the future of self-driving vehicles. In a market that is valued in the multiple trillions of dollars, the case between Waymo (formerly a Google self-driving project that’s now it’s own company) and Uber (the ubiquitous ride-hailing application) centers around the actions of former Google employee Anthony Levandowski. After working for the better part of a decade at Google, Levandowski left the company in January 2016 to form his own company. In May 2016, he formed Otto, a company that focused on self-driving technologies. Despite an internal Uber report indicating Levandowski was potentially in possession of 14,000 files that contained Waymo’s proprietary information, in August, Uber purchased Otto for an estimated $680 million and agreed to protect Levandowski against legal threats. By February 2017, Waymo sued…

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