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.”