Uber Being Sued for Stealing Secrets about Autonomous Vehicle Technology
Self-driving cars seem to be the way of the future in the automobile industry. According to the experts, we will no longer need to drive our own vehicles in the not-so-distant future. Instead, we will rely on artificial intelligence to do the driving for us. This prediction is both scary and exciting. It seems hard to believe that we could live in a completely driverless world. The introduction of this technology suggests a drastic change in not only the automobile industry, but society as a whole. As this reality sinks in, automakers are racing each other to the finish line. If self-driving cars really are the future, then all the top companies in the world want to be the first one to master the technology.
Whenever there is competition between high-powered firms, there are bound to be lawsuits. Uber is now being prosecuted by a company called Waymo, who claims that Uber stole secrets from them regarding self-driving technology. According to Waymo’s lawyer, Uber used confidential files regarding autonomous vehicle production provided by one of their ex-employees. The ex-employee was an engineer at Waymo, who helped design an autonomous vehicle system that was allegedly groundbreaking. It was the kind of information that would put automakers in the front of the race to developing self-driving technology. Now, this former Waymo engineer is working for Uber on their self-driving rideshare vehicles.
Waymo’s legal team is going after Uber, claiming that the engineer stole confidential information from the company before leaving. And now, Uber is using it for their own benefit. Uber recently responded to these claims, with unsurprising denial. Their legal defense states that none of Waymo’s technological information has been used in the development of their products. So, who is right? Did Uber hire the ex-Waymo engineer with the purpose of obtaining classified information? Or, is Waymo trying to slow Uber’s development down to improve their own standings in the race? There will have to be an investigation done into the work that Uber’s development teams have been doing the past year. If any similarities are found between Uber and Waymo’s self-driving technology, that could cause a lot of legal trouble for Uber.
No matter what happens, expect to see a lot of drastic changes to the automobile and rideshare insurance in the future. The development of self-driving technology will result in a complete re-imaging of how we get from place to place. Imagine getting into an Uber without a driver. It sounds crazy now, but with the way things are going, it could be totally normal in a matter of years.