Things seem to be looking up at Uber's embattled self-driving car unit. The company just made a deal with Volvo for as many as 24,000 XC90 sport utility vehicles to be delivered between 2019 and 2021. Uber then plans to add its own driverless technology and unleash a fleet of robo-taxis onto the world. It would be the first of its kind.
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Anthony Levandowski is the artificial intelligence whiz at the heart of the nasty legal dispute between Waymo and Uber. Following his unceremonious firing from Uber, he's been keeping himself busy by founding a church based on the idea of worshipping a future AI deity. As he shares more details about his philosophy, we have to ask: Is this guy for real?
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Waymo, the self-driving car unit owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, is now about a month away from its trade secret trial against Uber, and things are starting to get a little messy. Waymo planned to argue that Uber stole nine of its trade secrets and used them in its own self-driving cars in order to cut corners and catch up to the rest of the industry. But the judge in the case just threw out one of Waymo's secrets, along with the expert witness Waymo planned to rely on for evaluating how much Uber should owe in damages.
Waymo's trade secret lawsuit against Uber has so many twists and turns, it's hard to keep up with it all. But there's one key document that both sides of the case have been fighting over for a long time -- the due diligence report Uber commissioned when it was considering the acquisition of Anthony Levandowski's self-driving truck startup, Otto.
Waymo, the self-driving car company spun out of Google, just scored a major win in its ongoing legal battle against Uber. Waymo is suing the ride-hailing company, claiming that a former Waymo employee stole trade secrets about its autonomous vehicle technology and took them to Uber, where Uber then incorporated them into its own cars.
A lot of people get fired from Uber. One employee was reportedly fired last year for helping his female coworkers raise complaints about sexual harassment. Drivers get deactivated from the platform if their ratings slip below a certain number (Uber says the minimum rating varies by city, but driver forums say dipping below a 4.6 out of 5 is enough for deactivation). Even executives sometimes get axed -- Uber senior vice president of engineering Amit Singhal was asked to resign after sexual harassment allegations against him at a former job became public.
Travis Kalanick's "brother from another mother", Anthony Levandowski, has officially stepped down from leading Uber's self-driving car division. Levandowski is a key player in a lawsuit filed by his former employer, Google, that claims he stole tech that Uber is incorporating into its cars. This isn't a minor legal proceeding. It could prove to be fatal for the ride-sharing startup.
Last month Google filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging that the ridesharing company colluded with a former Google engineer to steal trade secrets and proprietary designs from the Waymo self-driving car unit. Yesterday, Uber's lawyers filed a motion to move the case into the dark hole of arbitration.