A long investigation revealed a possible prospect for Uber to pay Waymo for using self-driving technologies.
The investigation resulted in the adoption of a settlement agreement between the companies. This included engaging an independent expert to conduct the proceedings. During this week, the results were summed up not in favor of Uber.
“THESE FINDINGS, WHICH ARE FINAL, WILL LIKELY RESULT IN A LICENSE FEE OR IN DESIGN CHANGES”.
Uber acknowledged that the issue of a license arrangement with Waymo is currently under consideration. Otherwise, the company will have to make a number of changes in its production technologies of autonomous cars, reports Reuters. All these statements "further confirm Waymo's allegations that Uber misappropriated our software intellectual property". In Waymo's commentary to Reuters, the company said: "We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is not being used by Uber". No reaction has been received from Uber in this regard.
In its application for 10-Q, Uber wrote: "The independent software expert recently made adverse findings as to certain functions in our autonomous vehicle software". It is specified that: “These findings, which are final, will likely result in a license fee or in design changes that could require substantial time and resources to implement, and could limit or delay our production of autonomous vehicle technologies”.
Just a few months ago, a former engineer from Google Anthony Levandowski was accused of stealing commercial secrets. The charges included the transfer of stolen data to Uber. After this case, Uber published the statement mentioned above. It is specified that Levandowski stole about 14,000 documents from Google. All of them were related to the development of self-driving vehicle technologies.
Since 2018, attempts to introduce such systems have been a problem for the company. A special mention should be made of the case when in March of the same year one of such autonomous cars hit a pedestrian. Since then, Uber cars have been recorded in the participation in three dozen accidents, which were already then an alarm signal about the danger to people. This week it turned out that Uber vehicles had not been programmed to recognize pedestrians.