Uber offers 245 million to Waymo to settle their dispute for flight technologies
Friday, 9 February 2018 11:23
Friday, 9 February 2018 11:27
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New York | Uber and Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet/Google specializing in technology for autonomous cars, have found a settlement agreement putting an end to charges of theft of patents issued by the second against the first.
Unexpectedly, the two companies on Friday announced a compromise to stop a trial that was held in suspense since the beginning of the week the Silicon Valley and the automotive industry started a race to put autonomous cars on the roads before 2020.
In a brief paper passed on to a court of San Francisco (California), the two parties have reached an agreement, “confidential” and each of them will carry out its own legal fees and lawyers, is also mentioned.
The terms of the compromise, which comes less than a week after the start of the trial having seen Travis Kalanick, the founder and former ceo of Uber, a witness at the bar, were not disclosed.
But according to a source close to the record, Uber has proposed to Waymo the equivalent of 244,8 million in shares, representing 0.34% of the share capital on the basis of a valuation of the total business of $ 72 billion.
The service of car booking with driver also expressed his “regret” and pledged to only use its own technologies in the development of its autonomous car, seen as the holy Grail of transport modes of the future and the potential to generate billions of dollars in revenue.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, has rejected the idea that secrets have been transferred to Waymo to Uber or Uber used any information belonging to Waymo.
“We take measures in concert with Waymo to ensure that our Lidars and software represent our only job “, he however explained.
“My job as the CEO of Uber is to set the broad lines for the future of the company: innovate and grow in a responsible manner, while recognizing and correcting the mistakes of the past,” added the new leader, who took office at the end of the summer of 2017.
“In doing so, I want to express my regret for the actions that have led me to write this letter “, he also responded.
Sensors, laser, crux of the matter
Waymo accused Uber of stealing of the key technologies for the development of autonomous vehicles.
One of its former engineers, Anthony Levandowski, would include the following, according to Waymo, stole the end of 2015 thousands of confidential documents before founding his own startup, Otto, acquired then by Uber in the summer of 2016.
The subsidiary of Google ensures that the group and his boss had engineered all and bought Otto in knowing that Mr. Levandowski would have in her suitcases technological secrets stolen.
Waymo claimed some two billion dollars to Uber, which wants to establish itself as a leading player in the transformation of the automotive industry, and the end of their program of autonomous cars.
“We believe that this agreement will protect the intellectual property of Waymo “, said Friday a spokesman. “We are committed to working with Uber to ensure that each company develops its own technologies, which means that no confidential information belonging to Waymo should be integrated in the software Uber “, she added.
At the centre of the dispute between the two giants, the LIDAR systems: laser sensors to enable a vehicle to detect cars around, pedestrians or other obstacles around him.
By going to trial, Waymo seemed to have taken the advantage, because an american judge had ordered in may of last year to Anthony Levandowski to return to his former employer’s confidential records, that he would be taken away when leaving the company.