Judge orders Uber not to use technology taken from Waymo

May 15 16:31 2017

The case hinges on files that Waymo alleges Levandowski stole before leaving the company.

Nope, it doesn’t sound like this is the last we’ll hear of the case.

The decision to let Uber keep its driverless auto development going comes as Waymo teamed up with Uber’s biggest rival in the US, Lyft.

Meanwhile, Uber is also entering into similar partnerships, with an open programme for OEMs, the first of which was Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler.

Lyft has gained traction in recent months-not least because of a massive #DeleteUber campaign that began in response to (a) reports of a pervasively misogynist, homophobic work culture at Uber and (b) CEO Travis Kalanick’s refusal to condemn president Trump’s attempted immigration ban in a forceful way. The collaboration is particularly sweet for Lyft as it deals a deep blow to its ride-hailing rival that could face criminal prosecution for stealing Waymo’s technology. The deal with Waymo could help change that. And while Uber appeared to make huge strides in autonomous driving late previous year, the company’s autonomous vehicle unit is reportedly now embroiled in a “mini civil war.” . But the companies revealed few details about the arrangement.

And that’s where Waymo comes in. With its years of development work and actual driving experience with autonomous vehicle tech, could be that Waymo beats everyone in commercialising its tech before anyone else. General Motors is not anxious about the alliance between Lyft and Alphabet’s Waymo and that it would continue to work on different aspect of its business.

You see where that’s going? By teaming with Lyft, it gains access to millions of people already using the Lyft app to find a ride. That, in turn, could help you hop into an autonomous Lyft vehicle sooner than you might have expected.

Could the third be General Motors? Waymo also recently introduced a pilot program in Phoenix in which consumers can apply to hail self-driving Chrysler minivans and Lexuses for free rides around the city.

The company last week lost a bid to send its dispute with Waymo to private arbitration, paving the way for a public trial at a time when anti-Uber sentiment is high. As Business Insider points out, Waymo choosing Lyft was no coincidence. And yes, it could well allow Waymo to keep an eye on the progress Uber is making with its self-driving auto development program.

For that reason, Alsup wrote that even a limited injunction would be an unfair hardship for Uber’s Lidar development. Autonomous vehicles are being enabled by machine learning algorithms, and the more test miles research fleets can cover, the better the cars can drive themselves.

Lyft and Waymo are teaming up to work on self-driving cars

Judge orders Uber not to use technology taken from Waymo
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