The self-driving truck startup Otto was sold to Uber in August 2016 in a deal valued at nearly $US600 million ($767 million). The deal set Uber on a collision course with Google: Google is currently suing Uber, claiming that Uber acquired trade secrets stolen by Anthony Levandowski, an Otto co-founder and former Google employee.
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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?
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.
As Uber and Waymo frantically prepare for the October trial over self-driving technology, we're getting more and more insight into what went on in the months leading up to Uber's $US680 million ($860 million) acquisition of the autonomous trucking startup Otto. Text messages between Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as well as a deposition with Kalanick, were made public recently and shed light on how the pair bonded before officially going into business together.
Uber's laundry list of problems aren't just confined to the ride-hailing start-up's operations -- its driverless truck unit, formerly known as Otto, is now set to be investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It's trying to determine, as Forbes reports, if Uber violated state regulations by understating the capabilities of its trucks to drive themselves.
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.