Waymo, Uber mutually settle trade secret lawsuit mid-trial
The trade secret lawsuit between ride-hailing company Uber and Google's self-driving car spin-off Waymo has reached a settlement. Waymo will receive $245 million from Uber, which translates to 0.34% of Uber's equity based on its valuation of $72 billion. With the settlement announcement, the trial between the companies came to an abrupt halt after four days of proceedings in a San Francisco court.
Waymo had accused Uber of stealing its self-driving car technology
Last year, Waymo had filed a lawsuit against Uber for a "calculated theft" of the former's self-driving car technology. Much of this referred to LiDAR, which is a light-based laser-sensing technology crucial to autonomous driving. Waymo claimed that when its former engineer Anthony Levandowski became the chief of Uber's self-driving car project, he took with him several confidential documents about the same.
The settlement includes financial compensation, public apology
Along with financial compensation, the settlement also includes an agreement that ensures Uber is indeed not incorporating any of Waymo's confidential information into its self-driving car technology. Further, Waymo asked Uber for an apology, post which Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi released a diplomatic public statement.
No trade secrets were stolen, but let's make amends: Uber
Khosrowshahi said, "While we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo's proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work." Notably, Uber fired its self-driving chief after Waymo filed the lawsuit.