Uber has put out a statement calling for Anthony Levandowski, the engineer in charge of their autonomous vehicles program to acquiesce to the company’s demands or be terminated. Levandowski was at the center of the current Google scandal with Waymo, which alleges that he stole hundreds of files from the company before he jumped ship to Uber along with all of the classified information. Uber has stated that he needs to either deny any wrongdoing or publicly release all of the information he allegedly took as part of the arbitration processes as the feud with Google continues. Levandowski’s lawyer has stated that this ultimatum must be waived, as it will force his client to revoke his fifth amendment right to avoid self incrimination.
For the time being, Uber still publicly states that all of its research has been done without any trade secrets acquired from Waymo, and says that the public testimony from Levandowski will allow them to clear their names and move on with their own business. This will be a very important case moving forward, as it can quickly shift the balance of power in terms of the autonomous vehicle market and create a new industry leader. For now, the case is set to begin litigation in October, but Uber has filed a petition to move the case out of public court and into private. Time will tell who will come out on top as we move closer to the planned date.