Waymo and Uber settle self-driving vehicle trade secret dispute

Uber and Waymo have reached a $245 million settlement in their massive legal fight over self-driving car technology

Uber settles with Waymo in trade secret case

After months of breathless anticipation and a week of bro-tastic testimony, the Waymo v. Uber lawsuit, in which Google's driverless tech arm sued the ride-hailing pioneer over allegedly stolen autonomous vehicle technology, is over.

Five days into the landmark lawsuit brought by Waymo against Uber, the two companies said they have reached a settlement. The ridehail company has committed to a legally binding agreement that they will not use Waymo hardware or software intellectual property in their own self-driving vehicle technology.

Almost a year ago, Waymo filed suit against Uber. "We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology", Waymo said in a statement.

Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc. have reached a surprise settlement in their ongoing intellectual property case.

Khosrowshahi expressed "regret" for the company's actions in a statement on Friday.

If the case had gone to the jury and Waymo had prevailed, it would have dealt a severe blow to Uber's efforts to widely deploy self-driving vehicles as part of its ridesharing operations - a field that also includes Waymo and other rivals.

The courtroom has been cleared, the lights are off in the spillover room on the 19th floor and the initial takes are in on the Uber vs. Waymo trial.

Uber and Waymo announced Friday that they had settled their court battle over the alleged theft of self-driving auto trade secrets. That's an understatement. In the midst of an already scandal-ridden year, the messy, public lawsuit exposed the company's internal messages, questionable competitive practices and resulted in the termination of at least one top executive.

Khosrowshahi's statement added that Uber does not believe that his company acquired trade secrets from Waymo or used any proprietary information in its self-driving technology.

Meanwhile, the alleged trade secrets are about the technology that is used to emit laser beams on surrounding objects and then it sends back the data that enables the self-driving cars to create a 3D picture of their surroundings.

Of the settlement today, he says, "The blockbuster trial over alleged trade secret misappropriation by Uber is now history".

Waymo, the self-driving auto unit of Google parent Alphabet, sued Uber a year ago, alleging trade secret theft. The U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal probe at the prodding of Alsup, although it hasn't publicly identified the targets of that investigation.

Including the settlement, the cost of that Otto deal is now almost $1 billion, without factoring in Uber's legal bills in the case. Its plans to launch a self-driving pilot past year in California was stymied when Uber failed to follow permitting requirements by the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Uber's former chief executive Travis Kalanick and Anthony Levandowski, the incredibly talented and incredibly ambitious technologist whose decision to leave Google's self-driving auto program for Uber set off the lawsuit in the first place, both came out of the proceedings looking appropriately bad (they acted terribly). Of course, we are also competitors. But in the grand scheme of things, it's still a relatively small figure for Uber, which has value of $72 billion.

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