THE SUN HAD only just come up last Friday, but the young self-driving car industry had already moved into a new era. Federal Judge William Alsup, recovering from a sore throat, called it: “This case is now ancient history.”
Waymo v. Uber, the first great legal fight over autonomous vehicles, ended in a peace treaty Friday morning: Uber gave Google’s sister company a 0.34 percent stake in its business (worth $245 million or $163 million, depending on how you count Uber’s worth), and pledged not to use any of Waymo’s software or hardware in its vehicles. “I want to express regret for the actions that have caused me to write this letter,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in a statement posted on the ride-hailing company’s website.
Waymo alleged that Google engineer Anthony Levandowski left with thousands of vital technical documents.