Uber and Waymo reach shock self-driving settlement for $245m

Thursday Tech Crawl: Amazon begins grocery delivery at Whole Foods, and former Uber CEO testifies in Waymo-Uber trial

Thursday Tech Crawl: Amazon begins grocery delivery at Whole Foods, and former Uber CEO testifies in Waymo-Uber trial

Uber Technologies Inc. settled the high-stakes trade-secret theft lawsuit brought by Waymo, resolving a conflict that already cost the ride-hailing giant its top driverless vehicle engineer and threatened to further embarrass the company. Uber has co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick at the top of its witness list. Uber and Waymo are rivals in the nascent automated driving industry, which both companies believe to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year in revenue.

Uber has settled a battle with Alphabet 's self-driving auto unit Waymo. It is now owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet.

In a statement, Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said his job included "correcting mistakes of the past".

A spokesman for Waymo said the company "reached an agreement with Uber that we believe will protect Waymo's intellectual property now and into the future".

Thursday Tech Crawl: Amazon begins grocery delivery at Whole Foods, and former Uber CEO testifies in Waymo-Uber trial
Ex-Uber CEO weaves tale of Google betrayal in legal battle

Wednesday is Kalanick's second day of testimony in a trial centered on allegations that he conspired with former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski to rip off Google's self-driving auto project, while Uber was attempting build its own robotic vehicles. Waymo believes engineer Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 files while he was an employee, and took them to his autonomous-driving startup, Otto, which was bought by Uber in 2016. Uber has claimed its own technology was significantly different.

On the first day of an expected two weeks of testimony before a jury of 10 people in San Francisco federal court, Waymo lawyer Charles Verhoeven said the case "is about two competitors where one competitor decided they needed to win at all costs". Waymo had initially asked for maximum damages of $1.8 billion. "We have always believed competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads and we look forward to bringing fully self-driving cars to the world".

Waymo's lawsuit said that one of the company's former engineers, Anthony Levandowski, downloaded more than 14,000 confidential files containing designs for autonomous vehicles in December 2015 before he went on to work at Uber in 2016, leading the ride-hailing firm's self-driving auto unit. This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software.

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