Artificial Intelligence

Uber says Google’s theft lawsuit is attack on competition

EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

The claim that Anthony Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential and proprietary design files before leaving Waymo is “a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor,” Business Insider quoted a statement from Uber Technologies Inc. on Friday. Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving unit yesterday sued the world’s largest startup as the engineer heads its subsidiary Otto.

Uber brushed off Waymo’s allegations and vowed to fight in court. The ride-hailing system operator added it will keep working on bringing “self-driving benefits to the world.”

Levandowski is accused of having stolen information from the company on its light detection and ranging (lidar) system.  He founded self-driving venture Otto in May after leaving Google Inc., which later branded the Google self-driving car project as Waymo and spinned it off to place it under the helm of its own parent company. Lewandowski’s startup, which is  developing autonomous trucks, was acquired by Uber in July for $670 million.

Waymo has said the theft was within a plan for industrial espionage and for obtaining intellectual property. Alphabet’s GV (Google Ventures), has funded Uber.

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