Judge orders Uber not to use technology taken from Waymo

Main image downing leepilotuber

Waymo, the former self-driving project of Google, now part of the parent company Alphabet, and ride-hailing service Lyft have forged a partnership to work together on self-driving technology. A spokesperson of Lyft stated that as Waymo provides the best self-driving technology now, the Lyft Waymo collaboration will help in accelerating their visions to provide the most efficient transportation facility.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)'s driverless auto segment, Waymo, is believed to be aligning with Ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc.to establish autonomous vehicle technology. "We welcome the order to prohibit Uber's use of stolen documents containing trade secrets developed by Waymo through years of research, and to formally bar Mr Levandowski from working on the technology".

Embattled engineer Anthony Levandowski must be removed from any work relating to LiDAR, a key technology involved in self-driving cars, following a legal suit filed against Uber by rival Waymo. Alphabet's venture capital arm counts Uber as its largest investment, but tensions rose after Alphabet showed interest in developing a competing ride-hailing service. Interestingly, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has also invested about $500 million into Lyft a year ago. There are few details available about the deal between the two companies. Uber denies the claims.

Crucially for Uber, the ruling did not shut down its self-driving vehicle project.

Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note to investors that it's "likely that Waymo's motivation for the partnership would be to access the established base of Lyft's ride-hailing customers as opposed to building a network from scratch".

The Uber-Lyft rivalry seems to be alive and well. And it comes just days after the judge rejected Uber's request to move the case to arbitration, while also referring it for a possible criminal investigation over trade secrets theft. Autonomous vehicles are more of a trend now than simply a technological advancement. Waymo is seeking a preliminary injunction to block Uber from using the allegedly stolen information.

Lyft also seems elated by the partnership. Uber maintains this won't impact those self-driving cars now on the road.

Levandowski has faced accusations of stealing tech for Google's self-driving auto project, specifically for the LiDAR sensor system, as part of a lawsuit Google parent company Alphabet brought against Uber's autonomous driving efforts for patent infringement.

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