Ride-hailing company Uber is set to challenge a lawsuit filed against it by Alphabet-owned Waymo that accused the California-based firm of stealing its technology for the purposes of advancing its self-driving solutions. Legal representatives of Uber will appear before United States District Court Judge William Alsup later today in San Francisco in an attempt to contest Waymo's charges that threaten the very existence of Uber, a startup that's still far from profitability and largely relies on the potential of its autonomous driving endeavors to raise private funding while simultaneously trying to become a sustainable business.
Uber is expected to argue against Waymo's request for an injunction that Alphabet's self-driving division is seeking to use to prevent the San Francisco-based tech giant from using any technology that it claims was stolen, including a controversial LiDAR solution whose design was allegedly taken from Waymo by its former engineer Anthony Levandowski, Uber's former chief of autonomous driving business that was recently demoted as a direct result of this legal dispute. While Judge Alsup isn't expected to decide on Waymo's injunction request today, any such ruling might completely cripple Uber's long-term business strategy that might fall apart if the company is prevented from moving forward with developing its current autonomous driving technologies. While the injunction wouldn't cancel Uber's self-driving program or even signal that the company would lose its court battle against Waymo, the San Francisco-based firm likely wouldn't be able to make up for time that it would lose while fighting to overturn such a decision as the global self-driving tech race continues to heat up, industry watchers believe.
It remains to be seen whether Judge Alsup hints at his current opinion on the matter at today's hearing, though he previously implied that Waymo has a strong case for an injunction against Uber. The California tech giant recently dismissed all charges filed against it and accused Alphabet's unit of launching a bogus lawsuit in an effort to stifle competition. It's still unclear whether Waymo will succeed in its endeavor to obtain an injunction against Uber, but an update on the situation is expected to follow shortly.