【Uber与Google的间谍大战再升级:Google要求法院禁止Uber测试无人驾驶汽车】

【Uber与Google的间谍大战再升级:Google要求法院禁止Uber测试无人驾驶汽车】Google母公司旗下的无人驾驶汽车团队Waymo起诉Uber和Otto偷窃1.4万份私密的汽车传感器文件,并要求法院禁止Uber测试无人驾驶汽车, 担任Google自动驾驶项目软件工程师的Anthony Levandowski盗取了该公司的机密数据,随后创立了自己的卡车自动驾驶公司Otto,相关的机密信息包括专用于激光雷达开发的文件。法院将会在4月27日展开听证会。

Alphabet's Waymo asks court to BAN Uber from testing self driving cars after claiming it stole 14,000 secret sensor documents

  • Waymo accused Uber and Otto, acquired by the ride services company in August, with stealing confidential information on Waymo's Lidar sensor
  • Seeking unspecified amount of damages and preventing Uber from using tech

Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber's self-driving program, speaks about their driverless car in San Francisco. Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving spinoff from Google, today asked a judge to block Uber from operating its self driving vehicles in the latest round of a row over sensor technology.

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving spinoff from Google, has asked a judge to block Uber from operating its self driving vehicles in the latest round of a row over sensor technology.

Earlier this year Waymo sued Uber and its autonomous trucking subsidiary Otto, claiming over 14,000 documents relating to its self driving car sensors were stolen by a former executive.

Today,  Waymo said it would seek a preliminary injunction against Uber in the high-profile intellectual property lawsuit during a hearing in San Francisco on April 27th, according to a court filing.

'Competition should be fueled by innovation in the labs and on the roads, not through unlawful actions,' Waymo told Dailymail.com.

'Given the strong evidence we have, we are asking the court step in to protect intellectual property developed by our engineers over thousands of hours and to prevent any use of that stolen IP.'

The court documents state: 'Waymo further requests that Defendants be enjoined from making, using, selling, or offering to sell devices that infringe claims 1 or 13 of United States Patent No. 8,836,922 and claims 1 or 14 of U.S. Patent 9,285,464.'

'Because Waymo's remedy at law is inadequate, Waymo seeks, in addition to damages, temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief to recover and protect its confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information and to protect other legitimate business interests.'

Waymo has accused Uber and Otto, acquired by the ride services company in August, with stealing confidential information on Waymo's Lidar sensor technology to help speed its own efforts in autonomous technology.

Experts say a win for Waymo could be 'devastating' for Uber.

Waymo is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and a court order preventing Uber from using its proprietary information - bringing its self driving project to  a halt.

'If Waymo prevails after a long suit and a sequence of appeals, the nature of the compensation and fines could be staggering,' Raj Rajkumar, professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told The Verge.

'If Waymo can show that Uber knew that Otto [would] have Waymo's LIDAR designs, I don't see how Uber can attract additional large institutional investors.'

The original 28-page complaint accuses Anthony Levandowski, a former top manager for Google's self-driving car project, of stealing pivotal technology now propelling Uber's effort to assemble a fleet of autonomous vehicles for its ride-hailing service.

The sensors act as the cars 'eyes', allowing it to constantly scan its surroundings.

The alleged chicanery occurred in late 2015, before Levandowski left to found a startup called Otto that is building big-rig trucks that navigate highways without a human behind the wheel.

 

Waymo today filed additional documents, including testimony from Pierre-Yves Droz, a principle hardware engineer at Google who previously co-founded a company called 510 Systems with Levandowski.

Droz testifies that on January 5th, 2016, he and Levandowski were walking around Google's Mountain View-based campus, talking about the future.

'During this walk, he told me specifically that he wanted his new company to have a long-range LiDAR, which is very useful for self-driving truck applications he was interested in,' Droz says.

'He also told me that he planned to 'replicate' this Waymo technology at his new company.'

Uber bought Otto for $680 million last year, and Levandowski is now overseeing Uber's effort to develop and dispatch cars driven by robots.

'While Waymo developed its custom LiDAR systems with sustained effort over many years, defendants leveraged stolen information to shortcut the process and purportedly build a comparable LiDAR system in only nine months,' the complaint in the Northern District of California said.

Waymo is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and a court order preventing Uber from using its proprietary information.

Uber says the lawsuit is a 'baseless attempt to slow down a competitor.'

'We are incredibly proud of the progress that our team has made,' an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.

'We have reviewed Waymo's claims and determined them to be a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor and we look forward to vigorously defending against them in court.

'In the meantime, we will continue our hard work to bring self-driving benefits to the world.'

Otto launched with much fanfare in May, due in part to the high profile of one of its co-founders, Anthony Levandowski, who had been an executive on Google's self-driving project.

Uber acquired the company in August for what Waymo said in the lawsuit was $680 million.

 

Waymo said that before Levandowski's resignation in January 2016 from Google, whose self-driving unit was renamed Waymo in December, he downloaded over 14,000 confidential files, including Lidar circuit board designs.

Lidar is a main component of autonomous driving systems that bounces light pulses off objects to help vehicles know where they are on the road.

 

Waymo accused Levandowski of attempting to 'erase any forensic fingerprints' via a reformat of his laptop.

'The Replicated Board reflects Waymo's highly confidential proprietary LiDAR technology and Waymo trade secrets,' the complaint reads.

'Moreover, the Replicated Board is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with many other Waymo trade secrets and in the context of overall LiDAR systems covered by Waymo patents.'

To then verify its suspicions, Waymo filed a public records request to the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development and Department of Motor Vehicles in February for Otto's communications with the departments.

In that correspondence, Otto indicated that the company was using custom lidar that it built in-house.

Waymo cites this as evidence that Uber and Otto are using a circuit board that 'bears a striking resemblance' to Waymo's, according to Recode.

Earlier this month it was claimed Google paid some of its early-staffers 'supersized payouts' in order to keep them from leaving the firm's autonomous car division, a new report has found.

However, it seems the multimillion dollar pay checks backfired and gave them the means to move on – many stated they 'didn't need the job security anymore,' according to Bloomberg.

 

These employees had an 'unusual compensation system' that was based on the performance of the project, which some referred to it as 'F-you money'. 

The self-driving car project, which is now called Waymo, has since adopted a more uniform pay structure that is fair to all of its employees, a person familiar with the matter told Alistair Barr and Mark Bergen with Bloomberg.

But prior to the shift, a top executive at partner Alphabet Inc highlighted how costly the original program was.

 

The unusual compensation system began shortly after the tech giant unveiled its first self-driving car in 2010.

It was designed in a fashion that based paychecks on how well the project was performing, rather than how much money it was making.

Besides being handed cash salaries, some employees were also awarded bonuses and given equity in the business.

'After several years, Google applied a multiplier to the value of the awards and paid some or all of it out,' explained Bloomberg.

'The multiplier was based on periodic valuations of the division, the people said.'

'The precise metrics that the division was measured by-- and caused the bonuses to balloon-- are not known.'

However, a large multiplier was recently added to the compensation packages in late 2015, according to people familiar with the situation.

 

Two years ago, the vehicles logged more than one million autonomous miles – and other firms like Toyota and Tesla had just announced their plans for self-driving systems.

A source told Bloomberg that one of the employees had a multiplier of 16 applied to bonuses and equity over a four year period.

The grand total of payouts has not been made public, but Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat discussed the costs during an earnings conference call with analysts early last year.

There was a 14 percent increase, a total of $6.6 billion, in operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2015, 'primarily driven by R&D expense, particularly affected by expenses resulting from project milestones in Other Bets established several years ago,' Porat said, according to a transcript.

Although this is still not a clear answer, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the comments were about the car project compensation.

Many of the engineers and other staff members began leaving the car division in 2016.

Some were frustrated with the pace of progress and were worried about how the new leader, John Krafcick, would handle the group.

链接:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4302508/Google-s-Waymo-asks-curt-BAN-Uber-s-self-driving-cars.html


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