Technology

Former Uber CEO Knew Levandowski Had Google Data, Waymo Accuses

Photo by Nick Youngson/ nyphotographic.com.

Waymo is accusing recently resigned Uber CEO Travis Kalanick of knowing a former Google employee his company hired last year was in possession of data from Google’s self-driving car division, a new court filing obtained by Bloomberg reveals.

Travis Kalanick
Travis Kalanick

Kalanick, who resigned earlier this week, told Anthony Levandowski back in 2016 his company didn’t want any of Google’s data and that he was not to bring it to Uber with him,  according to the filing. Levandowski, who came onboard as Uber’s autonomous car chief when the high-tech ride-sharing firm bought his start-up Otto, reportedly told management he had destroyed all of the discs containing Google data.

The latest filing is one of many from Waymo in its trade secrets lawsuit against Uber.

Waymo is accusing former Google employee Levandowski of stealing elements of its Lidar technology to take with him to start Otto, a self-driving transport company which was purchased by Uber last August. The company, as part of its lawsuit, is accusing Levandowski of downloading 14,000 “confidential and proprietary design” files relating to the company’s “lidar and circuit board” before resigning as the technical lead of its self-driving car division.

Waymo has alleged that Levandowski searched for and installed specialized software on his company-issued laptop before leaving.

Levandowski admitted he did download some files, but it was to enable him to work from home. He denied taking those files with him when he left to co-found Otto, a statement Waymo’s latest filing appears to refute.

Levandowski has since been fired by Uber and Kalanick resigned this week under intense investor pressure.

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