No brakes: Alphabet’s case against Uber | The Economist

PURLOINED documents, duplicitous employees and conflicted loyalties. The race to dominate the field of self-driving cars is in its early stages, but is already full of intrigue. A hearing has begun on a lawsuit that could affect the future of autonomous-vehicle technology.

On one side is Waymo, the self-driving car unit owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It has accused Uber, a ride-hailing firm, of using stolen technology to develop its autonomous-driving capabilities. The origin of the dispute was a deal last summer when Uber spent $680m to buy Otto, a self-driving lorry firm.

Anthony Levandowski, who had worked at Alphabet for ten years and played a big role in its self-driving efforts, had co-founded the startup, which was just seven months old when Uber bought it. Before leaving Alphabet, Waymo claims, Mr Levandowski illegally downloaded around 14,000 computer files.

Read more: No brakes: Alphabet’s case against Uber | The Economist

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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No brakes: Alphabet’s case against Uber | The Economist

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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