Last month, Waymo announced that they were suing Uber. This was a bit of an interesting case from the very beginning. Waymo, part of Alphabet, was stating that a former employee, Anthony Levandowski had stolen thousands of confidential documents from Waymo’s servers before he left the company. Uber had responded saying that the suit was “baseless“. Well now that employee has come out to state why he downloaded those files. He has a pretty good excuse. He downloaded those files so that he could work from home.
Levandowski sat down with Bloomberg to talk about the case, and he stated that he told his team that the LiDAR setup that Uber is using on their self-driving cars as well as Otto’s trucks, is “clean”. Stating that he only downloaded the data to be able to work from home while he was working at Waymo. And that the LiDAR technology that Uber and Otto are using are not from Waymo, or at the time, Google’s Self-Driving Car Project. Waymo states that Levandowski downloaded around 9.7GB of files back in December of 2015, before he left the company in January of 2016. It all seems a bit suspect, but if this is truly the reason that Levandowski had downloaded these files, then the case should be a short and simple one.
Obviously, Levandowski has not said anything publicly about the case, other than the reason why he downloaded these files. And that’s because he is not able to say anything about the case while it is ongoing. Uber has until April 7th to file a legal response to Waymo’s allegations, and that’s according to a federal judge. So Waymo is continuing on with this case, and is looking to keep Uber from testing their self-driving vehicles, at least during the case. It’s not clear whether the judge will give Waymo what it wants, which is blocking Uber’s self-driving cars, but it is pretty likely, since Waymo does have plenty of evidence that Levandowski had downloaded tons of confidential files from their servers before leaving the company and heading elsewhere. The case is ongoing, and we’ll likely hear much more about it in the near future.