San Francisco:- Two of the biggest players in self-drive technology will meet in a San Francisco courtroom on Monday. Ride-sharing firm Uber is being sued by Waymo, the self-driving company spun out of Google. Uber is accused of stealing and using trade secrets relating to Lidar (light detection and ranging) - one of the technologies that enables an autonomous car to understand what is happening around it. While bitter and expensive legal disputes between tech companies are common, it’s rare for these tussles to be played out in public and in front of a jury - and that’s what we’ll see over the next three or so weeks.

At stake is a potential damages payout of hundreds of millions of dollars. Or, perhaps worse, an injunction to halt, or at least hinder, Uber’s self-driving research. This would be a big blow to the company, which once said leading the way in self-driving tech was critical to its survival.