Waymo, Uber reach self-driving settlement

Waymo, Uber reach self-driving settlement

But, after more than 2600 filings to the US District Court, California Northern District in San Francisco, that possibility ended when Uber and Waymo agreed a settlement that sees each side pay its own, extensive, legal costs.

Uber Technologies has settled its trade secrets dispute with competitor Waymo for $245 million, with the jury trial ending before the fifth day of testimony began.

"We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology", said Waymo spokesman.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive, expressed "regret" over the way his company had handled the issue. However he admitted that the deal involving Otto "should have been handled differently".

The row arose when Uber bought Otto which, a few months before, had been founded by ex-Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski. The team is believed to have collaborated with partners on a "dual-stack" lidar with 64-channel resolution, while Otto had previously acquired the startup firm Tyto LiDAR ahead of the Uber deal.

The jury was also shown a clip - sent from Levandowski to Kalanick - from the 1987 film "Wall Street" in which the Michael Douglas lead character proclaims "greed is good". Kalanick said, "I don't know, I don't remember".

Uber defended its position by stating there was no proof that any of the disputed files were used by the company.

However, Uber maintains that it did not use any stolen information and doesn't believe such data ever made it into Uber's hands, beyond concepts that would have been in the head of Mr Levandowski.

The IP in question is the LiDAR sensor technology used in Waymo vehicles. The details of the secrets were not made public - discussions about the content of the document happened in front of the jury in closed sessions.

Waymo had originally sought a $1 billion settlement previous year before the trial got underway, but Uber rejected that deal.

According to Reuters, Waymo is to receive a 0.34 per cent equity stake in Uber - equivalent to $245 million - after the Uber board had rejected the terms of a $500 million settlement earlier in the week.

"This includes an agreement to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software".

"The evidence at trial overwhelmingly proved that, and had the trial proceeded to its conclusion, it is clear Uber would have prevailed".

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