Aurora, a startup company led by three veterans of Google, Tesla, and Uber, has signed deals with both Volkswagen and Hyundai with the goal of putting autonomous vehicle technology on the market within three years — and doing so "quickly, broadly and safely."

The partnerships will pair Aurora's sensors and software — its machine learning and artificial intelligence technology — with two companies that together produce more than 15 million vehicles each year.

Self-driving Hyundai models will be on the market by 2021, the company says.

Jeff DeGraff of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business
University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Jason Brian Dalton had a 4.73 out of 5 star rating on Uber. Dalton had passed the ride-hailing company’s background checks. Dalton had no prior criminal history.

Dalton, 45, is accused of killing six people and injuring two others in Kalamazoo on Feb. 20 while picking up Uber passengers and collecting fares. He is charged with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, and eight felony firearm violations.

Screenshot from GoFundMe

Just a few weeks after the Kalamazoo shooting, Gene Kopf, the father of a survivor of the tragedy, asked the Democratic presidential candidates in their debate in Flint on March 6 how they would make decrease gun violence in the country.

His daughter, Abigail Kopf, was shot in the head during a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo on Feb. 20. Though the four women she was with died that day, she is alive and recovering in the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Uber insists its ride service is safe

Feb 23, 2016
Zelda Richardson / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Authorities have charged Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, and eight firearms violations after a shooting spree in Kalamazoo Saturday.

Gunning down victims at random, Dalton allegedly drove from one target to another for nearly five hours. Dalton apparently picked up passengers in between the shootings.

Macomb County offers free Uber to jurors

Jun 30, 2015

Jurors in Macomb County are getting a free ride to court.

A pilot project will offer jurors free transportation via Uber.

And the best news: It comes at no cost to the county. The ride service company is picking up the tab for round trips under $40 for the duration of the 60-day trial.

Carmela Sabaugh is the Macomb County Clerk. She adds this innovation to an extensive list that includes providing restaurant-style pagers to jurors while they wait to be called into the courtroom and furnishing the jury room with free wireless Internet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would legalize ride sharing companies is making its way through the legislature.

Ride sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, use an app to connect drivers with people looking for a ride and willing to pay. The bill would set up regulations for ride sharing companies that would be different from those taxi and limousine operators currently follow. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers are acting quickly on legislation to legalize riding-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

The app-based taxi-like service links people who need a ride with willing motorists.

The services appear to be in violation of state law. Some cities, like Ann Arbor, have tried to prevent them from operating. Others, like Lansing, have been more welcoming.


The app-based, taxi-like services UberX  and Lyft are in talks with the city of Ann Arbor - after the city sent the companies a "cease and desist" letter. 

This is just the latest of many legal tangles across the country for the companies, which are operating in a new grey area of transportation-for-hire. 

The companies say they are "rideshare services."  State and local transportation officials call them "transportation network companies," but insist that many of the regulations applying to traditional taxis also apply to these new services.