Artificial Intelligence

Judge bans Uber engineer from self-driving project after Google lawsuit

A California judge ruled Anthony Levandowski will not be allowed to work on the development of Uber’s autonomous driving technology following a lawsuit from Google’s self-driving unit Waymo.

In February, Waymo sued Uber for allegedly stealing the company’s self-driving technology LiDAR and accused Levandowski, who used to work as a self-driving engineer for the Alphabet subsidiary of “downloading 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files.” According to the lawsuit, he later used the confidential information to found a driverless truck start-up, Otto.

The court ruling allows Uber to continue working on its self-driving technology, but orders Levandowski to be removed from the project. Waymo praised the judge’s decision and told CNBC “the court has also granted Waymo expedited discovery and we will use this to further protect our work and hold Uber fully responsible for its misconduct.”

Uber, on the other hand, expressed satisfaction that it is allowed to continue working on its autonomous driving technology. “We look forward to moving toward trial and continuing to demonstrate that our technology has been built independently from the ground up,” a spokesman for the ride-hailing company told CNBC.

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