Google’s Waymo is asking a federal court to block Uber’s self-driving efforts.
In an injunction filed Friday, the company said Uber is continuing to use Waymo’s autonomous driving technology, which is an illegal use of proprietary information. The complaint is part of Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber, filed Feb. 23, claiming former Google employee Anthony Levandowski stole the company’s lidar sensor designs and brought them to Uber when his startup, Otto, was acquired.
“In light of defendants’ misappropriation and infringement of Waymo’s lidar technology, Waymo brings this complaint to prevent any further misuse of its proprietary information,” the filing states.
Waymo claimed that it has evidence -- including sworn testimony from Levandowski's former partner -- that Uber has been using its sensor designs, which were developed entirely in-house, to reignite a “stalled” self-driving technology program. The company added that the acquisition of Otto for $680 million netted Levandowski and other Otto employees millions at Waymo’s expense.
Waymo’s complaint is the latest move in the increasingly competitive autonomous driving technology space. In January, Tesla Inc. sued its former head of Autopilot, Sterling Anderson, claiming he stole company information to start his new company, Aurora, with former Google engineer Chris Urmson.
Both Uber and Aurora have claimed that these lawsuits are merely attempts to quash competition.
In February, an Uber spokesperson said Waymo’s lawsuit was a “baseless attempt” to derail its self-driving program.