The man who was at the center of a fierce lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Anthony Levandowski, has made a secretive return to the autonomous technology industry.
Levandowski was accused by Waymo of stealing trade secrets before he jumped ship to Uber after the ride-hailing company purchased his Otto self-driving truck startup. The two technology giants settled the lawsuit for $245 million earlier this year.
Documents obtained by Tech Crunch reveal that Levandowski couldn’t stay away from the industry for long and is involved in a new autonomous trucking company, this time dubbed Kache.ai.
On the surface, the company shows no apparent connection to Levandowski. However, through some digging, Tech Crunch was able to discover that company documents filed with the state seven months ago list an address in California which just so happens to belong to the father and stepmother of Levandowski. A number of sources within the industry have subsequently confirmed that Levandowski is indeed involved with Kache.ai.
For the most part, few details are known about Kache.ai. The company’s website reveals that it is working on “the next generation of autonomous vehicle technology for the commercial trucking industry.” While the website has subsequently been changed, it did offer further details about the firm’s intent.
“We’re developing the solution for the next level of on-the-road self-driving trucks,” the employment section of Kache.ai’s website said.
“Our development philosophy is based on a fast moving, very aggressive agile team approach and we’re seeking both software and hardware engineers that thrive in such an environment.”
Levandowski first burst into the public eye last year when his former employer, Alphabet, accused him of downloading more than 14,000 confidential documents before resigning. In the lawsuit, Waymo said Levandowski provided these documents to Uber and that the ride-hailing company was using proprietary technology related to light detection and ranging radar (LiDAR).Levandowski invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and never spoke during the trial.
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