Yesterday, we told you that Alphabet’s Waymo filed a lawsuit against ride hailing service Uber over the theft of key self-driving vehicle technology. Unsurprisingly, Uber has now come out with a statement (via Business Insider) denying that Waymo’s claims have any basis in reality…
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Here’s the statement, in which Uber says Waymo’s lawsuit is simply “a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor”:
We are incredibly proud of the progress that our team has made. We have reviewed Waymo’s claims and determined them to be a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor and we look forward to vigorously defending against them in court. In the meantime, we will continue our hard work to bring self-driving benefits to the world.
Basically, Waymo claims that its former employees stole information before leaving to found a Otto, a self-driving truck startup that has since been purchased by Uber. Waymo also claims that’s Uber’s LIDAR tech is eerily similar to that which Google’s self-driving car company developed.
Perhaps what makes this story most interesting, however, is Google Ventures’ — a sister company to Waymo — long-known-about (and very big) investment in the ride hailing company.
It’s still to be seen how this story ends of course, since at the moment these claims from Waymo are simply based on an “unexpected email”, which one of the company’s suppliers inadvertently sent to an employee. Uber says it will indeed be “vigorously defending against them in court.”