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Uber is fighting to keep its self-driving program alive

Published May 3rd, 2017 8:00PM EDT
Uber vs. Waymo Lawsuit Injunction
Image: Uber

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Uber’s long list of scandals that have hit the company in the past few months includes one problem that will not go away as fast or as easily as Uber would like it too. Earlier this year, Google’s self-driving car division sued Uber and accused the ride-sharing company of stealing proprietary technology from Waymo.

Specifically, Waymo says that a former lead engineer took self-driving car tech secrets when he left the company last year. That engineer, one of the top Google minds in this particular business, formed his own self-driving car startup that was purchased by Uber soon after that for close to $700 million.

Now, Uber has to fight it out in courts with Google for the life of its self-driving car plans.

Uber is going to court on Wednesday, Reuters reports, to fight against an injunction that would permanently put on hold Uber’s self-driving car program until the court case reaches its end.

Waymo asked the court to issue an injunction that would prevent Uber from using the technology that Uber has allegedly stolen. US District Court Judge William Alsup is not expected to rule immediately, but he may suggest which way he’s leaning.

The judge seemed to indicate last month at a hearing an injunction may be in order in the case. “I’ve never seen a record this strong in 42 years,” he said about Wayne’s evidence.

Analysts say that an injunction could hit Uber’s valuation, and put a significant dent in its plans for the future.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.