Uber settles with Waymo on self-driving

Waymo and Uber settle

Waymo, Uber reach self-driving settlement

Under the settlement Waymo gets 0.34% of Uber, said to be worth $245 million and Uber agrees not to use Waymo technology. Under the terms of the deal, Uber promised not to use Waymo technology in its self-driving cars and to ensure no Waymo components were already in use.

Uber can not use any of Waymo's hardware or software trade secrets as one of the conditions of the settlement.

It was alleged by Waymo that, before founding Otto, Levandowski had stolen Waymo proprietary information.

Ride-hailing giant Uber has settled its legal battle with self-driving auto development company Waymo over the alleged theft of trade secrets.

Uber ATG is the company's "advanced technology group", an engineering team working on self-driving technologies, mapping, and vehicle safety.

If the case had gone to the jury and Waymo had prevailed, it would have dealt a severe blow to Uber's efforts to widely deploy self-driving vehicles as part of its ridesharing operations - a field that also includes Waymo and other rivals.

Mea culpa Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over from Travis Kalanick in August following Kalanick's resignation, then issued something of a mea culpa statement on the company's web site.

This came after Uber had purchased Otto, a self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski, for $650m in 2016.

Levandowski was the engineer who built Google's first self-driving vehicle.

The jury was shown internal emails referencing demands Kalanick was said to have made. Kalanick said, "I don't know, I don't remember".

"To our friends at [Waymo parent company] Alphabet: we are partners, you are an important investor in Uber, and we share a deep belief in the power of technology to change people's lives for the better. And while we won't agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber's acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently".

Waymo also said Uber had infringed three patents relating to its LiDAR technology: United States numbers 8,836,922; 9,368,936; and 9,086,273.

Uber, which is the world's biggest ride-hailing service, is seeking to be a major player in autonomous cars and has ordered an estimated 24,000 cars from Volvo for its project set to launch in the coming years.

The jury was asked to consider whether Uber had used eight trade secrets - whittled down from an original list of 121 - in its self-driving technology.

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