Waymo has sued Uber Technologies Inc., after unlawful revelations in an email exchange. Google Alphabet Inc., runs Waymo, an autonomous car developing company. The Waymo team recently revealed that they received an unexpected email wherein, one of their suppliers specializing in LiDAR components sent them an attachment (apparently inadvertently). The attachment included machine drawings of what was purported to be Uber’s LiDAR circuit board except the fact that its design bore a striking resemblance to Waymo’s unique LiDAR design.
After this revelation, Waymo has filed a suit against the venture by Waymo’s ex-employee, Otto, and its parent company Uber.
Google Alphabet, Waymo's Design Structure and Self-Driving Technology Leaked
As published on the social platform Medium by the Waymo team, the company recently discovered evidence that Otto and Uber have been using integral parts of Waymo’s technology. A blunder in an email exchange revealed striking similarities in the drawings of both the companies’ car designs. Waymo has filed a lawsuit against Otto and Uber in the San Francisco court on Thursday.
The lawsuit claims that these drawings of the 3-D sensors included Alphabet’s trade secrets. According to the statement on Medium, Waymo has alleged its former employee Anthony Levandowski to have leaked 9.7 GB of confidential files. There are over 14,000 proprietary design and highly confidential leaked files of Waymo’s various hardware systems. There are files including the designs of its LiDAR and circuit board, blueprints, design files and testing documentations.
Levandowski launched his own self-driving truck company; Otto, in 2016 after leaving the Palo Alto company. Uber went on to acquire Otto after six months.
Waymo also discovered that their former employees who are currently working with Otto and Uber have downloaded additional information. The information pertaining to Waymo’s custom-built LiDAR includes supplier lists, technical information and manufacturing details.
Google Alphabet believes that these actions are the part of a meticulous plan to steal Waymo’s intellectual property and trade secrets.
Crucial Times for Uber
Uber has been facing rough times recently. The online transportation network company has been in the news for quite some time due to various reasons. After facing the complaints about sexual harassment and about its unrestrained; aggressive company culture; a lawsuit for stealing confidential information and trade secrets is one more slap on the Uber’s work culture. Recent reports state that the ride-hailing company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick has apologized for the company’s culture. He has also launched an investigation for the sexual harassment case by roping in former U.S Attorney General, Eric Holder.
According to the report on Bloomberg; Uber Technologies Inc., significantly witnessed an annual loss of approximately $800 million in 2016.
The two companies were closely tied once. Reports suggest that Google ventures had invested a whopping amount of approximately $250 million in Uber previously. Along with that, its executive David Drummond worked with the ride-hailing firm as a director on the Uber Technologies board for almost three years.
On a final note Waymo stated that given the facts and evidence of their technology being stolen, they had no choice. That is why they opted for defending their investment and development of the unique technology.
Google Alphabet 'Waymo' has Promising Future Plans
It is also notable that Waymo’s CEO, John Krafcik has revealed plans to bring autonomous vehicles in the market soon. Krafcik has already shown the world more than just a look of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Google Alphabet is working remarkably towards its future plans. Alphabet Inc., has major plans of building a high-tech experimental city in the US, according to reports. Alphabet Inc., is considerably working towards progress in the self-driving technology and other areas as well.