Waymo, though it has settled, has made a savvy move by acquiring more equity-Google was an early Uber investor-in a key competitor. But U.S. District Judge William Alsup had refused to allow Waymo to use that figure in the trial.
Levandowski was the main target of Waymo's complaints, but the company also accused Uber of not performing its due diligence when acquiring Otto. The trial did not prove anything, and it was very far from certain that Uber would win. Uber's former CEO Travis Kalanick held regular meetings with the Otto team before the company was officially formed, and Uber's due diligence investigation into Otto seemed created to whitewash the deal. Otto was a self-driving truck company that would end up being purchased by Uber. "The optics of someone not wanting to incriminate himself in front of a jury in a civil case are awful", Handman said.
The jury saw evidence which was embarrassing for Uber, however, including notes from Kalanick about "cheat codes" and a text message in which he told Levandowski to "burn the village". Waymo, by some measures, leads in developing self-driving auto technology, with more than 4 million miles of public road testing behind it. Uber is the upstart, launching its own autonomous vehicle program in 2015 after poaching almost 40 robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon University.
The confidential files are understood to reference a proprietary tool called Lidar which Waymo's self-driving cars use to navigate.
As a result of the accusations, Levandowski was forced to step down from his position and was later fired by Uber.
Khosrowshahi expressed "regret" for the company's actions in a statement on Friday.
In a year-long litigation process that featured alleged theft, mysterious deleted text messages, and the odd reference to Burning Man, Friday's twist was perhaps the most unexpected of all: On the fifth day in court, Waymo accepted a settlement in its self-driving tech trade secret lawsuit against Uber.
Last spring, Uber redesigned its LIDAR system, Fuji, and part of the settlement includes provisions for Waymo to ensure its technology isn't being used.
"If you are an Uber investor, you should be pleased with the outcome, given what could have happened if they had lost", said Rohit Kulkarni, managing director of SharesPost, a research group focused on privately held companies.
Following the announcement, Waymo released a statement saying, "We are committed to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology".
The settlement comes days before Alphabet CEO Larry Page was scheduled to testify in open court.
Alphabet had another reason to settle. The company also handed over a 0.34 percent stake, valued at about $245 million.
Uber countered that Waymo had sued to put it out of business, as the two vied to be the first to launch self-driving cars for the ride-hail market.