Timeline: Autonomous car pioneer Levandowski faces criminal charges of stealing from Alphabet

Timeline: Autonomous car pioneer Levandowski faces criminal charges of stealing from Alphabet

REUTERS: The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday filed criminal charges against Anthony Levandowski, accusing the former high-ranking Alphabet Inc engineer of stealing the company's self-driving car technology before joining rival Uber Technologies Inc .

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, had accused Uber with stealing confidential information on Lidar sensor technology to help speed its own efforts in autonomous technology. The two companies eventually agreed to a settlement last year.

Levandowski, a pioneer in autonomous vehicle technology, has started another self-driving car technology company since leaving Uber in 2017.

The following is a timeline of events of Levandowski's association with the companies and their tussle with each other:

April 2007:

Levandowski joined Google as an architect of Google Street View, according to a report by TechCrunch (https://tcrn.ch/2z4FNUC)

January 2016:

Levandowski resigns from Google and starts Otto, a self-driving trucking start up. (https://reut.rs/2Pgxtt1)

May 2016:

Otto quietly acquires Tyto Lidar LLC, a small company that held a patent for Lidar scanner. (https://reut.rs/2PfXQiI)

August 2016:

Uber buys Otto for reportedly US$680 million. Levandowski leads Uber's self-driving efforts in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Pittsburgh.(https://reut.rs/2L1kwPH)

February 2017:

Waymo sues Uber and Otto, alleging that Levandowski downloaded and stole more than 14,000 confidential files, including details on light detection and ranging sensor technology, known as Lidar, a crucial element in most self-driving car systems. (https://reut.rs/2zoKKF1)

April 2017:

Uber names Eric Meyhofer to replace Levandowski as head of its Advanced Technologies Group, as Levandowski steps aside from some of his duties. (https://reut.rs/30DNv1i)

May 2017:

Uber fires Levandowski for failure to comply with a court order to hand over documents. He declined to cooperate, citing his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.(https://reut.rs/2LffeP9)

October 2017:

Waymo asks for at least US$1 billion in damages and a public apology from Uber as conditions for settling the lawsuit, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the proposal. (https://reut.rs/30G2E2a)

February 2018:

Uber announces to pay US$245 million worth of its own shares to Waymo to settle the legal dispute. Earlier, Waymo had agreed to a settlement proposal valued at US$500 million, but those terms were rejected by Uber's board, Reuters reported. (https://reut.rs/2L7ugqk)

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru)

Source: Reuters