As background Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google parent company Alphabet, sued Uber in February for patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. Waymo claims that its former employee Levandowski downloaded 14,000 confidential files before leaving to launch the self-driving truck company Otto, which was acquired by Uber. Waymo argues that 14,000 documents are being used to develop Uber’s self-driving technology, while Uber contends that the files never made it onto its servers.
In preparation for a preliminary injunction hearing next month, Waymo filed new claims last week, alleging that Uber withheld information about technology they are using in its development of self-driving cars. Waymo claims Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee, stole confidential material and used it to jumpstart Uber’s self-driving program.
Uber claimes that its LiDAR system isn’t ready and therefore isn’t being used in its self-driving cars, which rely instead on commercial systems furnished by Velodyne. Waymo now says that Uber worked on a second system that more closely copies Waymo’s designs.
Waymo also claims Uber participated in a “cover up” to keep its second, un-named design hidden from the court. “They were hiding a device,” Waymo’s lawyers said.