Uber Fires Engineer Accused of Stealing Self-Driving Secrets From Waymo

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 31, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In the ongoing legal battle between Uber and Alphabet-owned Waymo, Uber announced this week that it has fired Anthony Levandowski, the engineer accused of stealing Waymo's self-driving intellectual property when he left his job at Google to start his own company, Otto (via The New York Times). In the original lawsuit, Waymo claimed that when Uber acquired Otto, Levandowski's stolen trade secrets came with the purchase, mainly centering around Waymo's LiDAR system.

    In the months following Waymo's filing, Uber denied the accusations and "pressured Mr. Levandowski to cooperate" with the court. When he was ordered by a federal judge to give the court any evidence related to Waymo's accusations, as well as a testimony, he was said to have asserted his Fifth Amendment rights in order to avoid self-incrimination. The judge gave Levandowski an internal deadline to hand over the evidence in question, and when he missed it Uber decided to fire him.

    Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (left) and former employee Anthony Levandowski (right)

    According to legal analysts watching the case, if Levandowski continued to be employed by Uber, "the company risked being tarnished...as if it were indirectly condoning his actions."
    When the lawsuit was filed in February, Levandowski and "other former Waymo employees" were accused of stealing around 14,000 confidential Waymo files that included data on Waymo's laser-based radar (LiDAR) system, which the company called "one of the most powerful parts" of its self-driving technology. Federal prosecutors began investigating the case earlier in May, while also partially granting Waymo's request for an injunction against Uber's self-driving efforts as the case continues.

    Besides Waymo's lawsuit, Uber has also faced troubled waters this year when the Department of Justice began investigating the ride-hailing company over its use of "greyball" software that let drivers operate in places where the Uber app is restricted.

    It also came out this year that Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to remove Uber from the iOS App Store in 2015 after discovering that Uber was secretly "fingerprinting" iPhones that used the app. Uber said the decision was made to prevent fraud, making sure users could no longer create multiple fake accounts on one device to collect new account bonuses, despite knowing that its method was in direct violation of Apple's app privacy guidelines.

    Although Uber's self-driving future is uncertain, Waymo has made progress in recent months with the launch of an autonomous car program in Phoenix, as well as the announcement of a partnership with Lyft that plans "to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream."

    Article Link: Uber Fires Engineer Accused of Stealing Self-Driving Secrets From Waymo
  2. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
  3. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    MacRumors is evolving into a forum full of haters so they've had to expand their scope to include other targets of vitriol, thus Uber has become a regular feature.
  4. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    So that's why the Uber app is super big—because it is full of secret code?
  5. garya73 macrumors 6502

    May 12, 2013
    Delaware, USA
    The iPhone is where a majority of Apple's revenues come from and iPhones have been discussed here for quite some time. The forum topics for one show that the site has expanded beyond simply reporting on Mac rumors. People want to know about other things Apple and Apple-related. It didn't make sense to change the URL because they already had name recognition and an established base of users.

    This story is related to Apple because Apple is said to be developing their own self-driving cars, or at least the software to run them. The Uber app also runs on iPhones, and there have been the recent revelations about the greyball software and the Uber software fingerprinting iPhones, but of which are of interest to both drivers and riders of Uber.

    I am at the point where I think everyone who complains about articles not being a "Mac" "Rumor" have absolutely nothing better to do and instead come here to troll and encourage others to hate on the site. If you want to complain, remind yourself that nobody is forcing you to be here and you are free to go start your own site that only covers Mac Rumors. MacintoshRumors.com is available.
  6. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Uber is being assaulted from multiple directions. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of covfefe. Trav and company deserve everything they're getting.
  7. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Uber got ripped off in china and all the details taken from it, who's fired for this?
  8. Robert.Walter macrumors 65816

    Jul 10, 2012
    Uber paid ca 700M$ for Otto.

    I wonder when they will sue Levandowski for a refund.

    They need to do this to demonstrate that their infringement on Waymo was due to bad faith and unfair dealing by Levandowski and Co rather than bad due diligence (or encouragement) on the part of Uber.
  9. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    Yep. "Avoid even the appearance of impropriety" is always good advice.
  10. tzm41 macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2014
    Got ripped off for being bought by DiDi?
  11. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    They say that a lot of criminals are dumb, these two seem right up there.

    Uber have caught up with Waymo in a few months, what has happened is beyond obvious. Levandowski has taken the fifth and Uber are blocking the release of documents.

    I hope they get nailed to the wall for it.
  12. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Uber is actual cancer in corporate form.
  13. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I've been on here 10 years and I have to say it's the most negative it's ever been.

    This is also one of the most non apple related posts I've seen.
  14. sudo1996, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017

    sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I hope he's actually guilty, not just some guy who left his old job and accidentally had some insignificant files on his laptop. I've heard of innocent employees being fired that way after a big lawsuit. But since he wasn't complying, it was probably fair.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2017 ---
    Then I wonder what Facebook's app has packed inside!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2017 ---
  15. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    What would this have to do with iOS? And if having an existing app on the app store is the only criteria that warrants an article this site would be packed.
  16. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Popular service that a lot of people use on the platform. In this case this also relates to rumored technology that Apple might be getting involved in or is already involved in in some fashion.

Share This Page