Uber has found itself in the middle of yet another lawsuit. This time concerning Otto – a company that it bought last year – and allegations of technology stolen from Alphabet owned Waymo.
Otto is a company working on developing self-driving lorries. Founded by former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski, the company promised to replicate the LiDAR technology used at the time by Alphabet. The problem here is that Alphabet is claiming that Levandowski stole the designs wholesale instead of coming up with their own ideas.
An internal investigation found that Levandowski downloaded some 9.7GB worth of technical data before leaving Waymo. The investigation also later noted that many Waymo employees who later left to join Levandowski downloaded confidential information pertaining to Waymo’s LiDAR technology.
Waymo itself was unaware that the theft had happened until it received an unexpected email from one of its suppliers. The email contained machine drawings of what was supposed to be Uber’s LiDAR circuit board. However, it looked suspiciously similar to the designs made by Waymo.
Uber, to its credit, only bought Otto after the alleged incident with Levandowski. Unfortunately, it was named as a defendant in the suit because Otto’s LiDAR technology was one of the main reasons for acquiring the company.
At the moment, Uber has not responded to the lawsuit. Instead, it has promised to investigate the matter on its own.