Friday, March 10, 2017

"Alphabet’s Waymo asks judge to block Uber from using self-driving car secrets" (GOOG)

From The Verge:
The case of the stolen self-driving car is heating up
Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving spinoff from Google, is formally asking a judge to block Uber from operating its autonomous vehicles, according to new documents filed in Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber. The lawsuit, which was filed last month, alleges that Uber stole key elements of its self-driving car technology from Google. Uber has called the accusations “baseless.”
Today in federal court, Waymo filed the sworn testimony of Gary Brown, a forensic security engineer with Google since 2013. Citing logs from Google’s secure network, Brown claims that Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer who now runs Uber’s self-driving car program, downloaded 14,000 files from a Google repository that contain design files, schematics, and other confidential information pertaining to its self-driving car project. Levandowski used his personal laptop to download the files, a fact that Brown says made it easy to track...

... Update March 10th, 2017, 2:18PM ET: Waymo has filed additional documents in its lawsuit against Uber, including testimony from Pierre-Yves Droz, a principle hardware engineer at Google who previously co-founded a company called 510 Systems with Levandowski. Droz supplies a lengthy description of Google’s effort to develop proprietary LIDAR technology, as well as details about conversations that could prove troublesome for Levandowski and Uber as they formulate their defense. 

Droz testifies that on January 5th, 2016, he and Levandowski were walking around Google’s Mountain View-based campus, talking about the future. “During this walk, he told me specifically that he wanted his new company to have a long-range LiDAR, which is very useful for self-driving truck applications he was interested in,” Droz says. “He also told me that he planned to ‘replicate’ this Waymo technology at his new company.”...