Before the self driving technology is introduced across the Countries, Uber and Google are already in a battle that will have a huge impact on the future of this industry. The lawsuit started when Waymo, Google’s self car driving unit alleged Uber that they are using sensors, which are based on the Waymo designs and asked the court to block Uber from using the same. If Uber loses this lawsuit, it will have a huge setback in terms of finance and the development of self driving car technology.
In response, Uber denied that its sensors were based on Waymo’s technology and accused Waymo of trying to tie up Uber in a litigation. It has been previously noted that the invention of new technology has been followed by legal battles over the rights of the technology. There is a possibility that Waymo could beat Uber in the court. The CEO of Uber has mentioned that if the court orders them not to use the Waymo technology, the company will have a huge setback and meanwhile, another company might come into the market with a self driving technology. Uber had employed some of the top engineers of Waymo to catch up with the technology, but Waymo proves that it was a ploy to copy the technology.
An engineer, Anthony Levandowski is the central figure in the case. The engineer was the driving force behind Waymo technology, he quit his job at Google and immediately started a company named Otto, which made a prototype of a self driving truck technology. Further, Otto was acquired by Uber and Waymo now claims that the engineer had stolen the key designs of Waymo before leaving Google. As per Waymo, the engineer downloaded about 14000 confidential documents from the network before he left the employment and then relied on the documents to create a prototype.
Levandowski is a well known engineer in the startup culture and joined Google in 2007. He became an early member of the self driving car project and invested in various projects and technologies. Uber denied all the allegations and mentioned that it had strict policies to ensure that employees did not bring confidential information with them when they joined the company.
Various questions can be raised here. Why did Uber pay for Otto if it did not intend to get its hands on the Waymo technology? Was Uber only optimistic about the knowledge and experience of the veteran that it started the development of a technology which is worth millions of dollars? The litigation continues and we will see how Waymo presses its points. Waymo aims to use strong evidence that will prove that Levandowski used the confidential information and their elements of technology in the system built by Uber. Uber will have a major setback if it loses the lawsuit. Long before the technology is introduced to the public, the lawsuit is making news about the different aspects of the development of technology and the close competition between two major companies in the World.