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Everything you need to know about the Google lawsuit that could derail Uber’s future

The first self-driving car prototypes are already navigating the roads in a few cities. But the real action is about to take place in the courtroom.

Google and Uber, the two giants at the forefront of developing the technology, are vying to own the emerging market and to suck up the profits.

The stakes are high and the fight is already getting personal, with Google accusing one of its star engineers of stealing some of its crown jewels.

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Last month, Waymo, the self-driving company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, sued Uber, claiming that one of its employees stole vital technology shortly before starting his own self-driving company (which Uber later acquired).

Autonomous cars have the potential to upend massive industries ranging from transportation to auto manufacturing. For Google and Uber, the opportunity and the threat posed by a world of self-driving vehicles is huge.

Google has been developing self-driving technology for the better part of a decade, and plans to license that technology to other car companies through Waymo. There’s also a chance Waymo will eventually develop its own ride-hailing service powered by self-driving cars to compete directly with Uber.  Read More

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Google backs away from human-looking robots

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Finally, Google’ s big robot strategy is coming in to focus.

It is…wait for it…nothing.

On Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, to be more precise, our collective robotic good luck ran out as Google, according to a Bloomberg report, puts its flagship robot maker, Boston Dynamics, up for sale.

The news comes just weeks after Google and Boston Dynamics accomplished a near unheard-of feat: they made us feel for a robot.

Jerk human beats up Boston Dynamics robot read the Mashable’s headline and it was not the exception, Most of the media covered the video showing a bipedal robot enduring a stress-test of sorts with a similar level of concern for the robot’s well-being. When I saw it, I thought, “Nice job Google, you made us empathize with a robot that would normally play a starring role in our nightmares.”

Now, I realize that that remarkable video was likely an unsanctioned hail-Mary pass by the Boston Dynamics team: something to dazzle the public and remind Google why they bought it in the first place.

Alphabet was clearly unmoved. Alphabet is Google’s parent company and the home of Google X, which is where, ostensibly, experimental pursuits like robotics are housed.  Read More

Alphabet may ditch Boston Dynamics and its robot dreams

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Frustrated with Boston Dynamics’ slow pace in building a marketable product, Google’s parent company Alphabet is apparently looking to unload robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics, which it acquired a little more than two years ago.

Alphabet is cutting its losses and looking to unload the company, according to a Bloomberg report. The company is known for its four-legged Big Dog and aslow-moving humanoid robot that became a video sensation.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg also reported that Toyota Research Institute, a division of Toyota Motor Corp., and Amazon.com, which uses robots in its warehouses, are potential buyers.  Read More

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