Uber said Alphabet wants $2.6 billion
Alphabet’s (GOOGL) (GOOG) Waymo wants $2.6 billion from ride-hailing company Uber for the alleged theft of one of Waymo’s trade secrets, according to one of Uber’s lawyers. Waymo has sued Uber for allegedly stealing nine of the former’s trade secrets related to self-driving cars.
The trial is scheduled to start on October 10, 2017, but Alphabet’s lawyers have requested that it be pushed to December. The judge has not ruled on whether the date will be postponed.
Google’s parent also alleges that Anthony Levandowski, one of its former executives, downloaded 14,000 files and used them when he joined Uber. Levandowski founded his own startup, Otto, after Google and sold it to Uber last year for $680 million.
Heading toward autonomous cars
Uber generated $6.5 billion in revenue in 2016, but its net income remains -$2.8 billion, and so a $2.6-billion fine would hurt the company’s numbers.
Meanwhile, driverless cars may be too futuristic for many investors at the moment, but the need for autonomous vehicles has arisen from the need to limit accidents, most of which are caused by human error. As the graph above shows, autonomous vehicle sales are expected to soar over the next two decades, and Daimler, General Motors (GM), and Ford Motor (F) have already invested big money in autonomous vehicles.