The search giant Google with parent company Waymo is working on driver less vehicles since 2009. Google has filed a Lawsuit claiming Uber stole trade secrets and is using in autonomous cars.
Waymo, the self-driving car business company, claimed in a federal lawsuit on Thursday that Uber was using intellectual property stolen by one of Google’s former project leaders.
Anthony Levandowski, left Google and started his own self-driving car company Otto which was acquired by Uber for $680 million about seven months after Levandowski left Google. Levandowski who runs Uber’s autonomous car division, downloaded 14,000 files from Google a month before leaving Google.
It came into notice when one of the supplier copied Waymo in an email which had an attachment showing the circuit design.”Its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design,” Google said.
LiDAR is the radar system Google and Uber’s autonomous cars use to build a picture of the obstacles around them. LiDAR is a Radar like system that uses laser instead of radio waves to build a 3d image of surrounding landscape.
“Otto and Uber have taken Waymo’s intellectual property so that they could avoid incurring the risk, time, and expense of independently developing their own technology,” the company said in the filing.
Google claims that a number of Google employees, who subsequently left to join Mr. Levandowski at Otto, downloaded additional trade secrets before departing. These included supplier lists, manufacturing details and technical information.
“We’re taking legal action against Otto and its parent company Uber for misappropriating Waymo trade secrets and infringing our patents,” said Waymo, the driverless car division of Google’s parent Alphabet. “Our parent company Alphabet has long worked with Uber in many areas and we didn’t make this decision lightly.
“However, given the overwhelming facts that our technology has been stolen, we have no choice but to defend our investment and development of this unique technology.”