GOOgle spenT Over $1bn On self-driv­ing Tech­nOl­Ogy: re­pOrT

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - IANS

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Google has been re­luc­tant about shar­ing how much it spends on self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy but now, the num­ber—over $1 bil­lion—has been ac­ci­den­tally re­vealed while re­view­ing doc­u­ments in the on­go­ing le­gal tus­sle be­tween Google’s Waymo and Uber.

Google spent a whop­ping $1.1 bil­lion on de­vel­op­ing its self­driv­ing soft­ware and hard­ware, says the re­cent de­po­si­tion of Shawn Banan­zadeh, a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst at Waymo which was first re­ported by IEEE Spec­trum’s Mark Har­ris.

Banan­zadeh was tes­ti­fy­ing in the on­go­ing Waymo’s law­suit against Uber which claims the ride-hail­ing com­pany stole in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and trade se­crets to de­velop its own au­ton­o­mous tech­nol­ogy.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, through­out Banan­zadeh’s de­po­si­tion, every dol­lar amount was redacted to pro­tect Waymo’s con­fi­den­tial com­mer­cial in­for­ma­tion.

Waymo has patented a tech­nol­ogy that will make its self­driv­ing cars soft on the out­side if it comes across a sit­u­a­tion where there is a pos­si­bil­ity of an ac­ci­dent with a hu­man. Self­driv­ing ve­hi­cles con­stantly com­mu­ni­cate with one an­other to pre­vent crashes but this is the first time that an in­dus­try player came out with a so­lu­tion to save pedes­tri­ans from ac­ci­dent.

Last month, the le­gal tus­sle be­tween ride-hail­ing com­pany Uber and Google’s par­ent com­pany Al­pha­bet es­ca­lated when the court al­lowed Uber to seek de­po­si­tion of Al­pha­bet CEO Larry Page for up to four hours.

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