Feb 5, 2018

Waymo: Uber cheated to win self-driving car race "at all costs"

Anthony Levandowski speaks to members of the press at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016. Photo: ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images

Kicking off the trial on Monday, Waymo's lawyer spent much of his opening statements to the jury painting Uber (and its then-CEO Travis Kalanick) as committed to winning the self-driving car race "at all costs"—including through cheating.

Why it matters: Over the next three weeks of the trial, Waymo will have to convince the jury that Uber not only plotted with one of its former employees to steal its technology, but that it actually did, and has been using it to advance its own development of self-driving cars.

  • Waymo presented the jury with emails and meeting notes from Uber executives showing Kalanick was intent on catching up to Waymo and viewed Anthony Levandowski as crucial to achieving that.

Uber's side: Predictably, Uber's lawyer opened his statements to the jury by denying Waymo's claims that it cheated and plotted to steal its technology.

  • Instead, Waymo's real motive, says Uber, has been to thwart a company it's long seen as competitor with its growing stable of self-driving car experts.
  • "Uber regrets ever bringing Anthony Levandowski on board," said Uber attorney Bill Carmody, in a reminder that the former executive is not on trial here, despite his bad behavior. "And the reason they do so, is because for all his time at Uber, all they have to show for bringing on Anthony Levandowski is this lawsuit."

What you won't get to see: Each side is spending part of its opening statements going over the alleged trade secrets at stake in the trial. This portion is closed to the public, so we won't get to see the tech in question.

Go deeper: Check out the slides presented by Uber and Waymo to the jury on Monday.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Global trust in the tech industry is slipping

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The backlash against Big Tech has long flourished among pundits and policymakers, but a new survey suggests it's beginning to show up in popular opinion as well.

Driving the news: New data from Edelman out Tuesday finds that trust in tech companies is declining and that people trust cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence less than they do the industry overall.

"It was 30 years ago, get over it": Mike Bloomberg's partner brushes off NDA concerns

Diana Taylor at a Mike Bloomberg event last month. Photo: Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Diana Taylor, Mike Bloomberg's longtime partner, dismissed the concerns surrounding non-disclosure agreements used at his company, Bloomberg LP, telling CBS News that she would say to those bothered by the allegations, "It was 30 years ago, get over it."

Why it matters: Democratic candidates have used the NDAs as a talking point against Bloomberg, calling on him to allow women to speak about the reported sexual harassment and gender discrimination they faced while working for him.

Trump's opportunity to use Bernie as an economic scapegoat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Zach Gibson/Stringer, The Washington Post/Getty Contributor

Bernie Sanders is poised to become an economic scapegoat for both the White House and Corporate America, assuming that Sanders comes through Super Tuesday unscathed.

The big picture: If the U.S. economy remains strong, President Trump and CEOs will claim credit (as they've been doing for three years). If it turns sour, they'll blame Bernie (even though it's a largely baseless charge).