Google started woking on the concept of self driving cars in 2009 a time when for most technology companies, it was just an impossible dream. Lazer based radar-like systems are used right from Spacecrafts and Archaeologists to Farmers to determine distance and map topography.
This detection system called Lidar[Light Detection and Ranging] which uses light from a laser works on the same principle as radar. Using laser beams, it creates a 3D image of the surrounding landscape to autonavigate.
Waymo, Googles self-driving car business under Alphabet has now accused Uber in a court filing 23 Thursday stating that it has stolen its lidar designs. Google states one of its former employees Google Engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded 9.7 GB of files before he left. With these highly confidential information, he found a startup called Otto which was then acquired by Uber. Waymo stated “Misappropriating this technology is akin to stealing a secret recipe from a beverage company,” and mentioned that “We believe these actions were part of a concerted plan to steal Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property.”
In the recent years a lot of automobile companies and navigation based tech companies have started showing interest and are actively part of innovation. Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Uber and Volkswagen AG are few of many.