Uber still uses technology from Waymo, which could get expensive for the ridesharing company.
Uber recently explained that they are still working on autonomous driving. Because providing its own technology would make the driving service more profitably. The drivers’ salaries at Uber make up the bulk of the concept’s expenditure. Autonomous driving could eliminate this part and thus get the listed company out of the red.
Court case Uber versus Google
It all began with the dismissal of Anthony Levandowski, who was still working for Google in the field of autonomous driving at the time. He allegedly illegally copied some data for a lidar sensor and founded his own company called Otto. The company specialized in the automation of trucks. Otto was soon bought up by Uber and Levandowski joined Uber as head of department.
The successor company for autonomous driving of Google, Waymo, then sued Uber for using the lidar and won in court. It was agreed that over $245 million in shares in Waymo would be transferred, and Uber’s technology would be further reviewed. This was to be done by independent experts who now submitted a report that embarrassed Uber.
Uber continues to use Waymo software
It turned out that software for the evaluation of sensor data from Waymo is still in use at Uber. This has financial consequences for Uber. Either you have to buy the software from Waymo or pay for a license. Levandowski did not testify in the Uber versus Waymo trial. But in the meantime he has also been accused in court of alleged theft of trade secrets. This trial has just started and the defendant, Anthony Levandowski, pleads not guilty.
About the author:
David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics.