Judge rules Uber can’t use Alphabet’s Waymo technology

Uber logo with man

Uber will no longer be able to use Waymo technology, a U.S. judge has order.

In his ruling, San Francisco judge William Alsup says that Waymo has shown “compelling evidence” that former key engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded thousands of confidential files prior to leaving the company.

Back in February, Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber, accusing the ride-hailing company of using stolen self-driving technology. Uber is now prohibited from using Waymo’s laser navigational tool Lidar.

Uber must also return all downloaded materials to Waymo by May 31st. However, Uber can still carry on with its own self-driving program, contrary to what Waymo had requested.

“The bottom line is the evidence indicates that Uber hired Levandowski even though it knew or should have known that he possessed over 14,000 confidential Waymo files,” Alsup wrote. “At least some information from those files, if not the files themselves, has seeped into Uber’s own Lidar development efforts.”

On January 15th, 2016, Levandowski formed Ottomotto, a self-driving vehicle startup, and twelve days later had resigned from Waymo without notice. Uber acquired Ottomotto for $680 million the following August and subsequently hired Levandowski to spearhead its work on autonomous cars.

Source: CBC News