Uber's Self-Driving Program Could Be Ordered to Shut Down By Court

Waymo is pushing for U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup to shut down Uber's self-driving car operations.

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Andrej Sokolow—Andrej Sokolow/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

A judge will listen to Uber's argument today in court on why its self-driving car program should be allowed to continue operating following a lengthy lawsuit with Google's Waymo over alleged stolen trade secrets, CNBC reports. 

In Waymo's lawsuit, Alphabet (née Google)'s ride-sharing firm claimed that former Google employee turned Uber executive Anthony Levandowski took engineering secrets and used them to further engineer Uber's self-driving cars. Uber is contesting that claim in court.

Waymo is requesting that U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup file an injunction that orders Uber to stop making use of any autonomous vehicle technology that was illegally brought over by Levandowski. The injunction, which is unlikely to be issued today, could potentially lead to Uber's self-driving car program grinding to a halt. 

According to CNBC, it's possible that Alsup will hint at which way he is leaning in the case. 

Up until last week, Levandowski was the head of Uber's self-driving car initiative. Waymo alleges that the Uber exec took more than 14,000 secret documents from Google's firm before he switched companies in January 2016. In court, Uber has claimed that Waymo's statements on the matter are incorrect.