Waymo has had a run-in with Uber in the past. In 2017, its engineer Anthony Lewandowski was accused of leaking trade secrets to the ride hailing company. While the companies may have fought a tense legal battle over autonomous driving tech in the past, they may have buried the hatchet. Waymo is actually being paid by Uber for its technology now.
The company had already settled the suit for $245 million. The companies also agreed to review Uber's software to make sure that it didn't appropriate Waymo's technology. Uber has recently admitted that the software works pretty well and also that the findings are not in its favour.
Uber has registered a new filing before the US Securities and Exchange Commission in which it has stated that "the independent software has recently made adverse findings.
It has further stated that it may likely pay a licence fee to Waymo for the tech, rather than fighting a legal battle.
"Through our settlement with Uber in summer 2018, we protected our hard-earned intellectual property and negotiated a process to appoint an independent third party to ensure Uber's self-driving software does not misappropriate Waymo's technology. The independent software expert has now shared their final findings, which further confirm Waymo's allegations that Uber misappropriated our software IP. We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our confidential information is not being used by Uber," an Uber spokesperson told Engadget.
The findings are in line with logic and it seems that justice has been done. Google showed off its autonomous tech at its I/O event in 2012. It was our first introduction to mainstream self-driving tech. Uber, back in the day was still finding its feet and was far from the global giant it is now.
The initial research, it seems has been done by Google's Waymo and any self-driving paradigm going mainstream owes its existence to them.