Uber fires self-driving car engineer Anthony Levandowsk

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Anthony Levandowski

Uber has fired star engineer Anthony Levandowski.

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Uber has fired Anthony Levandowski, the star engineer main the corporate’s self-driving car efforts.

Levandowski is on the middle of Uber’s intense authorized battle with Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google‘s dad or mum Alphabet. In Waymo’s swimsuit, the corporate accuses Levandowski, a former Google engineer, of stealing 14,000 “highly confidential” information on driverless car expertise.

Instead of cooperating with the swimsuit, Levandowski pleaded the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from self-incrimination.

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the termination. The New York Times earlier reported information of the firing.

Uber had urged Levandowski to cooperate with an inside investigation for months, stated the spokeswoman. Uber set a deadline for him to conform, however he did not meet it.

The spokeswoman added that the individuals who reported to Levandowski will now report back to Eric Meyhofer, who took cost of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in April.

The lawsuit pits two high-profile Silicon Valley corporations in opposition to one another. What’s at stake is the way forward for self-driving car expertise, which might profoundly change transportation. Google has been engaged on self-driving automobiles since 2009, and Uber has been betting on self-driving cars as the following large factor for its firm.

Earlier this month, Uber made clear that it wasn’t messing round when it got here to Levandowski’s cooperation with the investigation. “If you fail to comply in a material manner,” Sally Yoo, Uber’s head of authorized, wrote in a letter to the engineer, “then Uber will take adverse employment action against you, which may include termination of your employment.”

Waymo did not instantly reply to a request for touch upon Levandowski’s termination.

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