Waymo CEO John Krafcik unveils a Chrysler Pacifica Minivan equipped with a self-driving system developed by the Alphabet Inc unit at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jan. 8, 2017. Reuters/Joe White

While Waymo battles Uber in Court, Google’s self-driving unit could launch its ride-hailing service this fall, according to The Information [via Engadget].

The Alphabet-owned company is preparing to roll out its service, which is expected to be autonomous. The first rides will kick off in Phoenix, Arizona, where Waymo has been testing its self-driving technology since April. The rides with Waymo’s autonomous cars are expected to start this month.

International Business Times reached out to Waymo about its reported plans, but the company did not comment on the matter.

The launch of the new service will reportedly happen amid internal conflict between engineers and Waymo CEO John Krafcik. Employees are said to be at odds with the CEO’s lack of technical knowledge about self-driving cars. Krafcik’s lack of knowledge led him to reportedly side with Alphabet heads Larry Page and Sergey Brin on unrealistic launch deadlines and hiring freezes.

Google began looking into self-driving technology in 2009 and created the unit Waymo last year.

Waymo And Uber Legal Battle

While Waymo reportedly prepares to launch its service, it is currently in a legal battle against Uber. The Alphabet company claims Uber benefited from stolen secret self-driving car technology from Waymo. The Alphabet unit took Uber to court after former Google employees Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron quit to start their own company, Otto, which was then bought by Uber. Waymo claims Levandowski and Ron stole self-driving technology secrets before they set off to start Otto.

On Monday, a due diligence report that Uber fought to keep under wraps was disclosed. The document, which Waymo wants to use in its legal battle with Uber, details the assets and liabilities of Otto. Uber commissioned the report when it was in the process of buying the company, and was prepared by the firm Stroz Friedberg.

For the forensic analysis, the firm collected 53 computers, tablets, smartphones, thumb drives, webmail accounts, and other cloud-based repositories from the five diligenced employees.

The report said:

“During his interview, Levandowski informed Stroz Friedberg that he: (a) possessed Google information; (b) met with a number of Google employees about joining his start-up company;(c) met with Uber executives, while employed at Google, about forming a new company; and d) destroyed highly confidential Google proprietary information he had stored on five disks on his personal Drobo 50 including source code, files, and software pertaining to self-driving cars.”

Shredding Disks

The report describes some erratic behaviors and incidents. During Stroz Friedberg's interview with Levandowski, he said he found five disks in his Drobo 50 that contained Google proprietary information. He said he found the disks when gathering devices for the report’s investigation. The proprietary data “included source code, design files, laser files, engineering documents, and software related to Google self-driving cars.” Lewandowski said he took the disks to a commercial shredding facility to get them destroyed. When Lewandowski took the Drobo 50 to Stroz Friedberg it contained nothing to analyze.

The investigators then went to the shredding facility Lewandowski had gone to in order to confirm his story. The firm showed a picture of Lewandowski to employees at the location but none of them recognized him.

Lewandowski said he paid in cash and received no receipt for the shredding service. However, the employees at Shred Works, where the former Google employee went, said all destructions are recorded on a triplicate, carbon-copy receipt that includes the name of the employee that assisted the customer, the date, the time, a description of the service, method and amount of payment. A manager then reviewed the receipts and found one dated March 14, 2016 that said five disks were destroyed and paid for in cash, but the signature on the receipt was illegible, the report said.

On March 11, 2016, Uber’s head of corporate development, Cameron Poetzscher, told Lewandowski to preserve the disks for record keeping purposes. However former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said he “wanted nothing to do with the disks” and told him to “do what he needed to do.” On the same day, in a deleted iMessage from Levandowski to an unknown recipient he said: “I'll clean that sh** out.”

There are more instances of suspicious conduct. The full report was uploaded by Recode and can be read online.

In a statement to IBTimes, Waymo said the report “raises significant questions.”

“The Stroz Report unequivocally shows that, before it acquired his company, Uber knew Anthony Levandowski had a massive trove of confidential Waymo source code, design files, technical plans and other materials after leaving Google; that he stole information deliberately, and repeatedly accessed it after leaving Waymo; and that he tried to destroy the evidence of what he had done. In addition, Mr. Levandowski used his smartphone to take thousands of covert photographs of computer screens displaying Google confidential files. Knowing all of this, Uber paid $680 million for Mr. Levandowski’s company, protected him from legal action, and installed him as the head of their self-driving vehicle program. This report raises significant questions and justifies careful review.”