Google sister company sues Uber for stealing self-driving car technology

Google sister company Waymo is suing taxi company Uber for allegedly stealing technology for self-driving cars. It took Waymo seven years to develop a laser system for self-driving cars, and Uber took nine months.

In addition to Uber, Waymo also mentions the start-up Otto, a company of former employees of Google’s sister company that works on self-driving cars. Uber bought Otto last year for $680 million, within six months of its inception. The purpose of the acquisition would have been to get their hands on the technology.

Otto employees are said to have knowingly stolen documents about the operation of the laser system for self-driving cars by taking 14,000 documents from Waymo’s servers. Among those documents were schematic drawings of the lidar system’s circuit board.

Google’s sister company has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco. It is unknown how long the case can last and whether, for example, lawyers are already discussing a settlement.

Google initially developed the self-driving car itself, but last year split the activities off into sister company Waymo, which, like the search giant itself, falls under the Alphabet holding company.