The documents Uber doesn't want you to see
The long-winded case against Anthony Levandowski, the former head of self-driving truck company Otto that was acquired by Uber last year, takes a new wild turn this week with the release of the due diligence report.
In case you've got no idea what this is about, Levandowski and Uber are being sued by Waymo, Google's self-driving car company, for stealing the company's secret designs and using them to build products outside of the company.
The lawsuit and ensuing story only came about because a supplier of sensors for Otto accidentally copied someone at Waymo in on a prototype design that was suspiciously similar to their own.
This morning's due diligence report is interesting insight into what may be the world's shittiest cyber-criminal.
Not only did Levandowski download proprietary designs and files to his computer as he was leaving Waymo, he searched things like "how to secretly delete files mac" on his work computer and even hired a data destruction company to destroy hard drives in his apartment.
Uber, for its part, said the company insisted that he destroy all documents pertaining to Google designs before it acquired Otto, and even hired a forensic data company to be sure that nothing 'accidentally' found its way into Uber, but the report is pretty damning.
Waymo wants $2.6 billion from Uber for damages and has been seeking an injunction to stop further internal self-driving development. If the company wins (and I mean, it looks like a slam-dunk so far) the results will be disastrous for Uber's self-driving aspirations.
This saga is going to go on for a long time, but the report is a fun insight into a world we don't usually see (and we're lucky we even get to read this, given both sides wanted to keep the document sealed).
While all of this is going on Waymo is rumored to plan a launch of a fully autonomous ride-sharing platform within months, without the assistance of humans. If one company wins the self-driving race, is that it? We're in for a wild ride.
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