Facing a Self-Driving Smackdown, Uber Opts for Damage Control – Advertisement. Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. ALEX DAVIES 04.07.17. 10:14 PM


Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car is displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center.Angelo Merendino/AFP/Getty Images`

Google’s lawsuit alleging that Uber straight-up stole its autonomous vehicle technology won’t go before a jury until October, but Uber already finds itself on dangerous ground.

This week, the judge presiding over the civil case said he might just grant Google’s request for a preliminary injunction, which could force Uber to rein in or even stop testing its robocar technology testing until the case is resolved. Eager to avoid the worst, Uber issued a response designed to limit the damage.

All of this started in February when Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle division, filed a lawsuit claiming former employee Anthony Levandowski downloaded 14,000 technical files from a company server and used the info to launch his autonomous truck startup  Otto. Uber acquired Otto a few months later and put Levandowski in charge of its autonomous vehicle program. Uber calls the suit “a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor.”

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