Uber has admitted that it may have to conclude a licensing agreement with Waymo or make design changes to its autonomous vehicle technology, after an independent investigation into its self-propelled technology, Reuters reports. The disclosure has arrived Uber & # 39; s 10-Q submission earlier this week.
The investigation is the result of a settlement that Uber entered into with Waymo in February 2018 after the company owned by Alphabet sued Uber for alleged theft of its intellectual property. As part of the settlement, both companies agreed to hire an independent software expert to ensure that Uber's autonomous vehicle technology had not misused Waymo's intellectual property. Now the results of that expert analysis are in and Uber warns that it might not be good news for the company.
"The independent software expert has recently made negative findings regarding certain functions in our autonomous vehicle software." Uber wrote in his 10-Q request. "These findings, which are final, are likely to result in a license fee or design changes that require significant time and resources to implement, and may limit or delay our production of autonomous vehicle technologies."
Uber's statement comes just a few short months after Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer accused of stealing trade secrets and bringing them to Uber, was accused by federal prosecutors of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets. Levandowski is said to have stolen 14,000 documents from Google with information about his self-driving car program.
In response to the expert's report, Waymo said Reuters that the findings & # 39; furthermore confirm Waymo's allegations that Uber has abused our intellectual property rights. We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that our confidential information is not used by Uber. Uber declined to comment on Reuters on the report.
Uber's self-driving car program has caused numerous problems for the company. In March 2018, one of his self-driving vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian, causing the company to temporarily suspend its autonomous vehicle program. Documents released earlier this week suggest that the company's cars were not programmed to respond to jaywalking and that the cars were involved in three dozen crashes prior to the one that caused the fatal outcome.