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08 Aug 2017

Uber, to clear its name, shares ex-CEO Travis Kalanick's deposition

Uber ex-CEO speaks about the stolen Waymo documents

Uber, in order to clear its own name from the Uber versus Waymo self-driving car technology case, has now unsealed its former CEO Travis Kalanick's deposition for scrutiny.

Kalanick, in the deposition, said he got to know that documents related to self-driving technology were downloaded by ex-Google and then Uber employee Anthony Levandowski, only after Waymo filed its complaint.

Here's more.

In context

Uber ex-CEO speaks about the stolen Waymo documents
Uber didn't have any hand on the matter

Uber

Uber didn't have any hand on the matter

Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that this deposition proves without a doubt that the firm was focused on building its own self-driving car technology from grounds up.

Uber had nothing to do with Google's research on the same and the company took firm steps to make sure that any material, related to Google or Waymo, doesn't make its way into the firm.

Waymo

No prior knowledge of the documents

As per the suit filed by Waymo, Uber knew about the documents in question when it acquired Otto, the self-driving trucking start-up owned by Levandowski, and got him on board to work on Uber's self-driving vehicles.

However, Kalanick said that he had no knowledge of any such documents during acquisition and got to know about it only when Waymo filed its first complaint.

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Kalanick clarifies stance

Kalanick

Kalanick clarifies stance

Kalanick in the deposition, which went on for more than six hours last month, said, "I was pretty serious with him about making sure that these files had not and will not make it to Uber."

While Levandowski was in Uber, Kalanick had asked him if any stolen document has made its way to Uber. Kalanick said that Levandowski had categorically said no.

Deposition

Clearing matters

Kalanick, in the nearly 200 pages long deposition, said that Levandowski had acquired those documents to ensure that he gets the bonus from Google that he was supposed to get.

Upon being asked why Levandowski wasn't fired after Kalanick became aware of the issue, Uber's ex-CEO said that he believed Levandowski would come clean and testify in front of the court.

What Kalanick expected and what actually happened

Alphabet

What Kalanick expected and what actually happened

Kalanick said, "And it may be that I was holding onto that possibility, trying to get him to co-operate with the Court, with our investigation internally. And you know, it was F'ing stupid."

Levandowski had invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, instead.

Kalanick said that he and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, "didn't understand each other" and his steps to resolve issues were thwarted.

Trial

Waymo's take on the matter

Waymo issued a statement saying that Kalanick's deposition has confirmed several of the points that they had made.

Levandowski had not only downloaded files from Waymo but also, had enough time to incorporate Waymo's trade secrets into Uber's technology.

The company has substantial evidence, which shows that Uber is using Waymo's technology and will present it in the trial.

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