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Uber Technologies Inc. was founded in 2009 by former CEO Travis Kalanick, and it quickly took the world by storm, replacing many forms of public transportation as the most popular way to get around. The revolutionary ride-sharing app is currently operating in 633 cities across the globe, but that could be coming to an end. In February 2017, Google’s self-driving division, Waymo, filed a lawsuit against Uber for stealing trade secrets and patents to use in their own self-driving efforts. The case against Uber has just become much stronger, as Waymo was finally able to acquire a 34-page report that contains information about Uber’s acquisition of Otto, a self-driving truck company that was founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski.

Timeline Of Uber Crises

The lawsuit is not the first time Uber has been in trouble in the last few years. Let’s take a look at how we got to this point. In December 2013, an Uber driver hit a family in a San Francisco crosswalk, killing a 6-year-old girl. They were able to avoid the lawsuit filed by the family due to an insurance loophole. In January 2014, it was confirmed that New York City-based employees deliberately ordered and cancelled thousands of rides from competitors Gett and Lyft in order to mess with their operations. A few months later, in June 2014, large-scale taxi strikes began to take place in London, Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. Later that year, Uber was publicly criticized for using surge pricing during emergencies and for its alleged “God view” capability that allows the company to access a user’s GPS location at any time. India’s Dehli region banned Uber as of December 2014, amid allegations that a female passenger was raped by her driver. On February 28th of this year, senior executive Amit Singhal left the company after hiding a sexual harassment allegation filed against him at Google. In March, a tape of Kalanick yelling and swearing at an Uber driver was posted online. A senior executive was fired in June for illegally obtaining medical records of the alleged rape victim from the 2014 attack in India. Uber’s senior vice president of business, Emil Michael resigned the same month. On June 21st, Kalanick resigned as CEO. Seems like a lot in just three years, right? Well, it seems like Uber has finally met its match.

The Smoking Gun

The afore-mentioned 34-page report contained information regarding Levandowski’s former employment with Google. It was found that he and Kalanick exchanged emails and text messages for six months, leading up to Levandowski’s exit at Google. The report acknowledged that Levandowski possessed Google files containing information about their self-driving division. He also openly recruited employees of Google while he was still working at the company. To be honest, there a lot of details within the report that make Uber look guilty; however, it is now Waymo’s responsibility to link the new findings directly to the ride-share company. Google would need to prove that the code that was in Levandowski’s possession actually made it into Uber’s self-driving technology.