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Kalanick delivers a speech at the Third Netease Future Technology Conference on June 28, 2016 in Beijing. Photo: Wang K'aichicn / VCG / VCG via Getty Images

Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick admitted in testimony in the Waymo-Uber trial Tuesday that he saw Google (later Waymo) as the leader in self-driving cars, and that his company needed to catch up as a matter of its future existence.

Why it matters: Waymo, which is suing Uber for allegedly stealing some of its trade secrets, is continuing with its narrative that the ride-hailing company and its chief were on a mission to get ahead in the race at all costs. Eventually, according to Waymo, that included cheating, in the form of acquiring a former Waymo executive's new startup and using tech he had brought with him.

More from Kalanick:

  • He admitted to growing unhappy with Uber's initial self-driving car division's progress (its sensors were too big and expensive). "We definitely needed to get a commercial orientation,” he said.
  • Uber's eventual acquisition of Otto, founded by former Waymo exec Anthony Levandowski, was a sort of compromise. "I wanted to hire Anthony and he wanted to start a company, so I wanted to come up with a situation where he could feel like he started a company, and I could feel like I hired him,” he said on Tuesday.

What's next: Kalanick will continue his testimony Wednesday morning.

Go deeper

Janet Yellen confirmed as Treasury secretary

Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 to confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary on Monday.

Why it matters: Yellen is the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary, a Cabinet position that will be crucial in helping steer the country out of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.