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Google to celebrate official opening of Ann Arbor space

Sep 21, 2017
outside of building
Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Google will host the grand opening of its new Ann Arbor facility tomorrow. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are expected to be there, along with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and state and local officials.

More than 450 Google employees will soon be under one roof in the tech giant's new Ann Arbor space. That's out of 600 total statewide, up from about a dozen employees when the company opened its first Michigan office in 2006.

security camera
CWCS Managed Hosting / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


You are being tracked. Your actions are being tracked by government, retailers, credit agencies, social media, and it all goes much deeper than you might realize. 

Jonathan Weinberg, a professor of law at Wayne State University, joined Stateside host Lester Graham to discuss the state of surveillance on the average person today, and where it might go in the future.

Flint river
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An internet giant is stepping in to help Flint with its water crisis.

Google is giving the University of Michigan and U of M-Flint $150,000, through its charitable arm, to develop technological solutions to help Flint deal with medium- and long-term issues tied to the water crisis.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is defending its eGRID system against a critique by an analytics think tank.

Companies all across the U.S. use eGRID to calculate their own indirect carbon emissions based on how much electricity they use. And it's not uncommon to see a company brag about a) their transparency on emissions and b) their progress in reducing their indirect emissions to fight climate change. 

Flickr

Driverless cars are racking up more than double the number of accidents as conventional cars with a human behind the wheel. 

But "it's a complicated message," says Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

His study shows that driverless cars get in 9.1 crashes per million miles driven. 

But here's the really interesting part.  The accidents have all been minor - the worst injury was whiplash - and the crashes were all caused by human drivers plowing into the back of the driverless cars. 

MARIORDO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Google Inc. is moving its Ann Arbor operation to bigger digs on the north side of the city.

The Ann Arbor News reports Friday the Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is leaving the downtown space it's occupied for nearly a decade. Officials say the operation is moving into an existing building, then constructing a new campus.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley wears the "Google Trekker."
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Today, Google released into the world more than 40 images of iconic places in Michigan.

Google is known for capturing 360-degree street view images with their camera. For these latest images, the camera was strapped onto a backpack and taken to places cars can't go.

Here's a video produced by Google that shows the "Google Trekker" in action in Michigan:

user: mariordo / Wikimedia Commons

Not that long ago, things like robot vacuum cleaners or self-guided lawn mowers seemed like science fiction. Now, nobody bats an eye at a robot scooting around the living room. 

So how long will it be before we're getting around in cars that don't need drivers?

Just a few years, according to Google. 

The company has developed a prototype which is apparently now ready for its biggest test: the demands of the city. 

Justin Webb, who's with Stateside partner BBC, went for a test drive at Google headquarters, and joined us to describe the experience. 

Hit the jump to see what it looks like to be in a driverless car by watching Google's video.