Official U.S. patent data shows Otto acquired Tyto technology at the same time. Otto, a self-driving truck startup founded by former Alphabet employees, was bought by Uber in August. It claimed that without those Waymo designs, Uber could not have developed its technology as fast as it says.

A company now owned by Uber last year quietly bought a small firm specializing in sensor technology used in autonomous vehicles, giving the ride services company a patent in the technology and possibly a defense against a trade secrets theft lawsuit filed against it by rival Alphabet Inc.

Uber’s self-driving unit quietly bought firm with tech at heart of Alphabet lawsuit| Reuters