Antony Levandowski, the former head of Uber's self-driving vehicle efforts, has been indicted by a California federal grand jury for stealing trade secrets from Google, taken from the search giant's own self-driving efforts before changing employer.
Improving the stability of the self-driving car world — in which Apple's role is still uncertain — Uber and Waymo have reached a surprise settlement over allegations that Uber used stolen data in developing its own technology.
In a deal that values Lyft at $11 billion, Google's parent company Alphabet has invested $1 billion into the ride sharing service, more than a year after Apple placed its own $1 billion bet on Chinese taxi provider Didi Chuxing.
Alphabet's Waymo — formerly the self-driving car division within Google — is reportedly preparing to launch a commercial autonomous ridehailing service as soon as this fall, possibly even later this month.
Alphabet's self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, is in court-ordered settlement talks with Uber — though the former maintains that its lawsuit can prove Uber used trade secrets taken by one-time employee Anthony Levandowski.
Uber on Tuesday announced the immediate firing of Anthony Levandowski, one of the leaders of its self-driving car efforts, amid a lawsuit accusing it of using data allegedly stolen from Alphabet's Waymo unit.
Alphabet's Waymo is joining with Lyft to test self-driving cars on public roads, according to an announcement, while another Alphabet company — Google — is previewing a complete Android interface for cars which will nevertheless support Apple's CarPlay technology.
A lawsuit against Uber by Alphabet's self-driving unit, Waymo, has been referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for an investigation of possible theft of trade secrets, escalating the battle between the two companies.
Alphabet's autonomous car division, Waymo, is expanding a ridehailing trial in Phoenix, Ariz., to members of the general public, marking perhaps the biggest real-world use of self-driving technology to date.
Even as Apple tests remain shrouded in secrecy, prototype self-driving cars by Waymo — formerly under Google — are dramatically improving their skills, data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles revealed on Wednesday.
In a decision drawing parallels with Apple, Alphabet is reportedly ratcheting down its goals for self-driving cars, scrapping plans to build a vehicle without pedals or a steering wheel — at least for the foreseeable future. [Updated with Alphabet's Waymo spinoff announcement]