In Uber's 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company states that the "independent software expert recently made adverse discoveries" related to certain parts of the autonomous vehicle software.
In the filing, Uber said it will likely have to pay a license fee or change its design, which could delay the plans for self-driving taxis and damage the brand. "Any claim of intellectual property against us, regardless of merit, can be time-consuming and costly to decide or process, could lead management's attention and other resources, and could damage the goodwill associated with our brand," Uber wrote.
Statement delivered to Engadget, a Waymo spokesman, said:
"Through our settlement with Uber in the summer of 2018, we protected our hard-earned intellectual property and negotiated a process to appoint an independent third party to ensure that Uber's self-driving software did not The independent software expert has now shared their final findings, further confirming Waymo's claims that Uber misused the IP of the software. We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that our confidential information is not used by Uber. " This summer, federal prosecutors charged Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer at the center of the most high-profile Waymo-Uber drama, with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of business secrets from Waymo – even if the case does not involve the software involved in today's Uber disclosure. Levandowski allegedly brought files from Waymo to Uber, including details of Waymo's self-driving LiDAR technology. He could face up to 10 years in prison. To make matters worse for Uber, just this week, NTSB concluded that the self-driving car Uber that killed a pedestrian in March 2018 had serious software errors.
Uber declined to comment beyond what it shared in 10-Q.
Update 11/7/19 16:10 ET: The story was corrected to reflect that Uber's disclosure today is unrelated to the Anthony Levandowski case.