Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Alphabet, has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging the firm stole its self-driving technology.
The suit alleges that former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski downloaded 9.7GBs of sensitive information related to Waymo’s LiDAR technology.
This information was used to create a LiDAR system for Levandowski’s own firm Otto, which Uber purchased in 2106.
In a blog post Waymo details how it received an email from a supplier of its LiDAR components intended for Otto and noticed that a drawing of a circuit board was not unlike its own.
“We found that six weeks before his resignation this former employee, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems, including designs of Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board,” said Waymo.
Waymo goes on to allege that Levandowski did not act alone and that former employees now working at Uber and Otto downloaded even more information.
“We’re seeking an injunction to stop the misappropriation of our designs, return all trade secret information and cease infringing our patents,” said Waymo.
Uber has had a rough start to 2017. In January the firm’s nonchalant opposition to the Trump administration’s travel ban saw 200 000 users delete their accounts as part of the #DeleteUber campaign.
Just this week a former Uber employee penned a blog post claiming she was sexually harassed while employed at the firm.[Via – The Guardian] [Image – CC BY 2.0 psyberartist]