Uber and Waymo have been in a heated battle for about six weeks now, and it all stems from Uber's head of self-driving, Anthony Levandowski, who was an employee at Waymo up until January of this year. Reportedly, Levandowski downloaded a ton of confidential files that spelled out the plans that Waymo had for their LiDAR unit for their self-driving cars, and then took them to Uber. Waymo has since taken them to court, and the Judge has ordered Uber's lawyers to find those files. And well, now Uber says that those files never touched their servers.
This is a bit of a head scratcher seeing as Waymo basically has proof that Uber has the documents and that they were being used. You see, one of Waymo's suppliers accidentally sent an attachment of Uber's LiDAR plans to Waymo, which were actually Waymo's document. Which helped to form the case, after they had already known that Levandowski had downloaded those files prior to leaving, and then wiped his laptop clean. Of course, Uber's lawyers are confident that Levandowski did not bring these files to Uber. Waymo is also showing how the design for Uber's LiDAR setup is very close to what Waymo is using, especially when it comes to the single lens design.
While Uber's lawyers may be correct that the files never made it to their servers, that doesn't mean that they aren't in their possession. Alphabet says that Uber hasn't searched properly for these files. Stating that Uber has only searched their own servers, and not the laptops that Levandowski is using, who is their head of their self-driving program. Needless to say, things are getting a bit interesting between Waymo and Uber, especially since Waymo's parent company Alphabet is an investor in Uber through their Google Venture company. This is the first big lawsuit in the self-driving car world, and things are getting a bit interesting right now, and they could spell out the future for automated vehicles. It's a lawsuit that the industry is going to need to pay close attention too, especially since everyone uses LiDAR for their vehicles.