Judge grants Waymo trial delay because Uber withheld evidence
Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving unit, sued Uber earlier this year over the alleged theft of self driving tech. The latest bit of drama comes today as a US judge granted a request from Alphabet to delay the trial, which was scheduled to start December 4th. This is apparently because Uber and its attorneys may have withheld evidence, and Waymo has requested time to investigate, according to Reuters.
The lawsuit revolves around Anthony Levandowski, who is a former Google employee. He left the company to form Otto, a self-driving truck startup. Uber later acquired Otto, and with it (according to Alphabet), proprietary files from Waymo about the self-driving unit’s tech that Levandowski downloaded six weeks before his departure. Waymo is now seeking $2.6 billion from Uber for the alleged theft of trade secrets.
Uber has long maintained that it had nothing to do with Levandowski’s downloading of files, and has not used them any way in its own technology. However, in Waymo’s lawsuit, the unit claims that it was inadvertently copied on an email from one of its component vendors to Uber. Uber’s tech looked strikingly similar to Waymo’s proprietary designs.
The revelation that Uber may have withheld information that is pertinent to the investigation doesn’t look good for the company. It’s the latest in an endless string of setbacks for the ride sharing company, which often finds itself in hot water due to its own toxic company culture and policies.