- In 2017, Anthony Levandowski was in the middle of a scandal involving Uber, his employer at the time, and Waymo, his former employer. He was accused of stealing trade secrets from Google’s self-driving car program.
- Levandowski was fired from Uber, and hasn’t been in the public sphere much since the case was settled in early 2018.
- However, TechCrunch has revealed that Levandowski is tied to an upcoming autonomous truck project, named Kache.ai.
- Kǎchē means “truck” in Chinese, or “hide” in Haitian Creole, though it’s not yet clear what the company’s title is referring to.
Although it may have seemed that Anthony Levandowski was done with the self-driving car business after being fired by Uber in the middle of a trade secrets dispute, it appears he might not be finished yet.
TechCrunch has discovered that Levandowski is tied to a new self-driving truck company, named Kache.ai, that will focus on commercial trucking. There isn’t much information available about the company, and its website currently only features a picture of a lake with the company name imposed over it. Before, the website contained a picture of a commercial truck on a highway with the caption “Kache.ai – The Future of Intelligent Driving.”
Kache is staying quiet and didn’t respond to TechCrunch about the story – and it’s stayed under the radar since being registered as a corporation seven months ago. Levandowski isn’t listed anywhere in the corporate filings, but an address that belongs to his father and stepmother is listed in documents filed by Kache to the state. As TechCrunch reports, Levandowski’s stepmother, Suzanna Musick, was the CEO of a company he founded called 510 Systems.
Before the website was scrubbed clean, it contained the following paragraph, explaining that Kache is hiring:
“We’re developing the solution for the next level of on-the-road self-driving trucks,” the website read. “Our development philosophy is based on a fast moving, very aggressive agile team approach and we’re seeking both software and hardware engineers that thrive in such an environment.”
Little else is known about Kache at this time, but TechCrunch said multiple sources in the autonomous car industry have confirmed that Levandowski is tied to the company.
Levandowski was previously at the center of more than a year-long scandal, after Waymo accused him in 2017 of stealing trade secrets and bringing them to Uber. He had worked for Waymo, Google’s former self-driving car project, for nearly 10 years before forming a startup, Otto, that was acquired by Uber. In a lawsuit, Waymo said Levandowski stole more than 9 gigabytes of information from them, which included more than 14,000 files related to the self-driving car project, just before he left the company to found Otto.
Levandowski was fired from Uber, and Uber paid a settlement and agreed not to use any of the information that he had taken from the Waymo project.
Levandowski also popped up in the news in the middle of the scandal, when he said he was founding a new church centered around worshipping AI called “Way of the Future,” which he thinks will soon become god-like and smarter than humans, he said.