Uber fires back at Google spinoff in self-driving car case
Uber fires back at Google spinoff in self-driving car case
Lidar that thing on the top of this Waymo car help self-driving cars"see their environment. Waymo
08 April, 2017, 00:33
In its defense, Uber said it began its lidar development in 2015, before Levandowski joined, and with staff that didn't come from Waymo.
The crux of Waymo's lawsuit, filed in February, are claims that a former Google employee, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 "highly confidential" files before he left to found his own self-driving trucking startup. Levandowski sold Otto to Uber for $680 million in August. He declined to provide information to Uber, his employer. If it's found that one of its top executives did pilfer those documents and use the information within them to build Uber's LiDAR technology, the financial judgement could cripple the ride-hailing company and give competitors like Lyft the opportunity to overtake it.
Waymo said Uber isn't searching in the right place.
"Waymo's injunction motion is a misfire: there is no evidence that any of the 14,000 files in question ever touched Uber's servers and Waymo's assertion that our multi-lens lidar is the same as their single-lens lidar is clearly false", Uber's associate general counsel, Angela Padilla, said in a statement. Uber also points out that Waymo could have sued Levandowski personally, but it chose not to. Uber also says documents Levandowski allegedly stole were never uploaded to Uber's system. That has put Uber, which is valued at $70 billion, in a tricky spot.
During a hearing on Thursday, Uber's attorney Arturo Gonzalez said that the engineer was "not someone who has to steal anything", adding, "He knows his stuff".
The case is against Uber, however, not Levandowski and his cohorts. And well, now Uber says that those files never touched their servers.
Saying Waymo "could not be more wrong" in accusing Uber of copying its technology, Uber on Friday attempted to show a court how different its self-driving auto sensors are from its rival's.
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"If I can not get a declaration from [Levandowski] then, Your Honor". "You keep on your payroll someone who took 14,000 documents and is liable to use them". Waymo alleges he also downloaded files before leaving the company for Otto.
Uber responded to Waymo's lawsuit over self-driving cars. "It is these same attorneys who simultaneously represent to this Court that they have not and can not review Mr. Levandowski's files". The company has been hampered there by Levandowski's assertion of the fifth amendment. "We're representing him, not Uber".
In its filing, Uber claimed that it had "never had possession of or used any of Waymo's trade secrets or the 14,000 documents". In fact, Waymo is now in the middle of arbitration with Levandowski - which began in October - whom they accused of using confidential information to poach employees for competing companies.
The rivals are vying to bring self-driving cars to the masses in a field that includes established carmakers, little-known start-ups and major technology companies.
Waymo first grew suspicious about Uber's LiDAR system when an employee was mistakenly included on an email chain that featured a schematic drawing of a circuit board used by Uber.
In response to Uber's court reply on Friday, a Waymo spokesperson said the company based its request for the judge to halt Uber's self-driving vehicle program "based on clear evidence". "If Waymo genuinely thought that Uber was using its secrets, it would not have waited more than five months to seek an injunction".
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