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Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division, sues Uber over alleged patent infringement


Waymo, the new name for Google’s self-driving car project, has sued Uber and self-driving trucking startup Otto over claims of patent infringement.

In a Medium post published Thursday afternoon, Waymo accused Anthony Levandowski—a former Google engineer now working for Uber—of having downloaded “over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files for Waymo’s various hardware systems.” In particular this allegedly included “Waymo’s LiDAR and circuit board” designs—a total of nearly 10 gigabytes. Levandowski left Google in January 2016, then founded Otto, which was acquired by Uber several months later.

Just last month, Bloomberg reported that Waymo has been able to slash the production costs of LiDAR by 90 percent.

Neither Uber nor Otto immediately responded to requests for comment.
Silicon Valley watchers quickly remarked on Twitter how it was odd that Google, which just a few years ago became an investor in Uber itself, was now turning on the upstart competitor.

Silicon Valley watchers quickly remarked on Twitter how it was odd that Google, which just a few years ago became an investor in Uber itself, was now turning on the upstart competitor.


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