Google Corporate ▪ January 14


Google is getting serious about its self-driving car initiative.

Reuters reports on Wednesday that Google has entered discussions with several top automative manufacturers about self-driving cars, including General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and Daimler, the German company behind Mercedes-Benz. The company has also partnered with a number of auto suppliers to develop and refine self-driving systems and components, such as Continental AG, Robert Bosch, LG Electronics and Nvidia. expand full story

Kevin Rose Kevin Systrom

Digg founder Kevin Rose was first hired by Google as a partner at Google Ventures in early 2012, and today we learned Rose is shaking up his involvement at the search company’s investment arm. As Fortune notes, Kevin Rose decided several months back to move from general partner to venture partner at Google Ventures, and today Rose shared that his role will shift to an advisory one. expand full story

Google Corporate ▪ January 13


Update: According to Reuters, the settlement is $415 million, a big improvement over the previous $380 million offer.

Apple has reached a deal with its employees over do-not-hire policies that workers claim prevented them from getting higher-paying jobs at competing companies. Judge Lucy Koh previously rejected an offer to the tune of $324 million that the plaintiff in the case said was too low.

Today’s settlement is presumably for much more money than the original, since the plaintiff has accepted it, but the details of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Judge Koh said that the prior offer should have been closer to $380 million.

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First announced in July of 2014, Google has this week launched—in partnership with Motiv and the city of Mountain View—a free shuttle service to help residents of the Santa Clara city get around town. Besides being completely free to the public, the service touts the fact that its first four shuttles are completely electric, can seat up to 16 passengers, have free WiFi for all riders, and have bike racks as well as wheelchair access.

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While the American auto market has been dominated by the Big Three in Ford, General Motors and Chrysler for several decades, the landscape is beginning to change as technology-based competitors like Tesla and Google enter the scene. To keep up with the breakthrough pace of innovation, it may be necessary for the trio of auto makers to partner up with their new rivals in the coming years.

Right on queue with that idea, Time reports on Tuesday that General Motors is open to working with Google on developing self-driving car technologies. “I’m not in charge of deciding what we will and won’t do, but I’d say we’d certainly be open to having a discussion with them,” Jon Lauckner, Chief Technology Officer at General Motors, said in an interview at the Detroit Auto Show this week. expand full story

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