Tech

Court rules that Waymo can keep its robotaxi emergency protocols secret


The California Superior Court in Sacramento has beneficial rule of Waymo, allowing the company to keep specifics of its autonomous vehicle technology secret. Waymo won the case against the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which to sue back in January to prevent the agency from disclosing what it considers trade secrets that could give competitors an edge. While the company Alphabet filed a lawsuit against the DMV, it was an unidentified party that made a public records request about the drone technology that started it all.

The DMV has given Waymo the opportunity to re-collect information it deems to be trade secret from its drone deployment application before delivering a copy to requesters. However, third parties have objected to the blacked out sections, and the DMV has advised Waymo to seek an injunction if it wants to prohibit the release of the redacted material.

Information Waymo wants to keep confidential includes how it plans to handle emergencies, such as how it analyzes collisions involving its vehicles, and how its technology makes decisions. when to give control to the driver. It also includes the software’s ability to handle the one-way streets and hills of San Francisco, where the company offers robotaxi service.

In it litigation (PDF), Waymo says allowing the disclosure of its trade secrets would have an “industry-wide chill” and could deter other companies from investing time and money in developing the technology self-driving car. Equal TechCrunch However, it remains unclear whether all of the information Waymo discloses is really a trade secret it needs to keep from competitors, or if some of the safety insights could answer those concerns. public concerns.

In a statement, a Waymo spokesperson told TechCrunch:

“We are pleased that the court has made the right decision in accepting Waymo’s request for a preliminary injunction against the disclosure of competitively sensitive trade secrets that Waymo included in its application. license that Waymo has filed with the CA DMV We will continue to publicly share safety and other data about our autonomous driving technology and operations, and recognize that technical information Details that we share with regulators are not always appropriate for sharing with the public.”

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