Uber, Google's Waymo reach out-of-court settlement over self-driving car tech

February 9, 2018

Friday morning in a courtroom in San Francisco, trial lawyers representing Google's Waymo self-driving car technology division accepted a $245 million settlement offer from Uber.

The settlement represents an anticlimactic end to what was expected to be a drawn-out trial between the two mobility companies. Waymo had alleged that Uber stole its lidar—light detection and ranging—technology for use in self-driving cars.

MORE: Waymo takes Uber to court

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi admitted no wrongdoing in a statement released Friday.

"To be clear, while we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo's proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our lidar and software represents just our good work," Khosrowshahi said in the statement.

Uber and Waymo reached an agreement "to ensure that any Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software," Waymo said in a statement.

Nearly a year ago, Waymo filed suit against Uber. The Google-owned company alleged that Uber acquired former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski's Otto self-driving truck startup specifically to gain confidential information. Waymo claimed that Uber bought a path to technology rather than a truck builder.

"Uber’s acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently," Khosrowshahi said.

At stake were 14,000 documents containing eight specific trade secrets that Waymo says was proprietary information regarding lidar technology that helps self-driving cars navigate around obstacles.

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