Uber fires self-driving lead and focus of Waymo lawsuit

The company parts ways with former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski.

Uber has taken a stand in the current legal wrangling around its vice president of technology, Anthony Levandowski. According to The New York Times, the ride-sharing company has fired the former Google employee who came to Uber's own self-driving automobile division. Google sued Uber recently, claiming that Mr. Levandowski allegedly took some 14,000 documents containing research on LiDAR and other autonomous driving technology when he left Waymo.

Levandowski has since asserted his fifth amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination, though he also voluntarily stepped down from the division last month. Uber has been unable to convince Levandowski to open up to the investigation, however. "Over the last few months Uber has provided significant evidence to the court to demonstrate that our self-driving technology has been built independently," Angela Padilla, Uber's associate general counsel for employment and litigation, wrote in an email obtained by the Times. "Over that same period, Uber has urged Anthony to fully cooperate in helping the court get to the facts and ultimately helping to prove our case."