In a surprising twist to the event, Uber has now fired Anthony Levandowski who was brought to spearhead the firm's self-driving automobile technology and was embroiled in the court drama surrounding Waymo, the subsidiary of Alphabet, Google's parent company and Uber, and was accused of stealing trade secrets.
Levandowski, who was an erstwhile Google employee, had left the firm to bring his own company Otto, one which Uber picked up for a neat sum of $700 million last year. Now, as the stakes are rising both the companies are trying to do all they can to breathe down on each other necks. After all the entire tech was under development by Google before any competition properly kicked in and Uber is relying heavily on the future of its business on self-driving automobile efforts.
Levandowski's firing also signals that Uber is trying to wash its hands from the mess it has brought upon itself, when Otto was acquired by Uber, it's CEO Kalanick was effusive and termed the move as a significant one as the firm was getting their hands on "one of the world's leading autonomous engineers," and was even ready to shell out a percentage of the profits that Uber will make the new self-driving trucking business via Otto's acumen and Levandowski.
But things got sour as Google's Waymo quickly moved the court citing that what Uber was using is essentially technology that belongs to them and it was entirely orchestrated through Mr. Levandowski as he was the one who stole it and gave it to Uber and was subsequently rewarded.
Uber denied that any deal of such nature has taken place and had nudged Levandowski to co-operate in the belief everything was squeaky clean even from his side, but Levandowski ended up pleading his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and make things worse for his future. What hanged in balance was Uber's neck and after months of persuasion, the firm finally took the call and fired him after he failed to meet an internal deadline to hand over information that would get the firm out of this mire.