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Waymo: Uber stole our self-driving car tech

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In a lawsuit that reads like a spy novel, Alphabet’s self-driving car company charges a former employee brought pilfered technology to Uber.
Waymo was launched by Google last year.
Waymo , a self-driving car company owned by Google parent Alphabet, dropped a lawsuit on Uber on Thursday, alleging the ride-hailing company stole trade secrets to bolster its own autonomous car efforts.
The 28-page lawsuit focuses on Otto, a self-driving trucking company that Uber acquired last year. The suit charges that Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee, downloaded 14,000 “highly confidential” files describing self-driving technology research and brought them to Otto, which he co-founded.
Parts of the lawsuit read like a spy novel. Waymo alleges Levandowski, who now works at Uber, used special software to access the files and reformatted his computer to cover his tracks. It says Uber used the information after it acquired Otto.
The lawsuit complicates the already-difficult relationship between the two companies. GV, Alphabet’s venture capital arm, invested in Uber in 2013. It was one of the firm’s most high-profile deals.
“Our parent company Alphabet has long worked with Uber in many areas, and we didn’t make this decision lightly,” Waymo said in a blog post. “However, given the overwhelming facts that our technology has been stolen, we have no choice but to defend our investment and development of this unique technology.

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