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Livonia's Roush Industries to supply parts for Google concept vehicle

Driverless cars may be here sooner than you think. And the metro Detroit auto industry stands to be on the forefront of game-changing technology once again.

Excerpt:

"Google’s self-driving vehicle has made it to the epicenter of the auto industry as parts suppliers in Michigan, Livonia, based Roush Industries Inc., has signed a contract to supply parts for the concept vehicle.

According to Valley News, the driverless Google vehicle is scheduled for testing in the spring at California Google facilities. The prototypes are being scheduled for the spring as Google does not want to do initial testing on snow. Chris Urmson, the director for Self-Driving Cars for Google, says that the company has a goal of having the driverless vehicles on the market in just five short years."

Read the rest here.
 

Detroit Eater picks the region's best dining options

Thirty-eight is the magic number. That's the tally on Eater's selection of restaurants that best represent what our region is about. It's not about the best food of thebuzziest scene, but rather the unique personality of our sprawling community.

Excerpt:

"The Winter chill is settling into Metro Detroit, which means it's time for a new edition of the Detroit Eater 38. This regular feature seeks to list the city's key dining establishments (with a few representatives from the suburbs), with special emphasis on the defining meals that make the city and region move."

Read the rest here.
 

Metro Detroit competes with Silicon Valley for talent

We've been writing about metro Detroit's need for more engineers for years now. It looks like both the auto industry and localk media are finally catching up. Examine any car made today and it's obvious that the technology that goes into each vehicle requires designers, techniciuans and engineers of the highest caliber. But how to recruit them away from the siren's call of Silicon Valley...

Excerpt:

"More than 30 of GM's 2015 models are equipped with 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Then there's the frontier of intelligent highways, including the pilot project in Ann Arbor that will soon extend closer to Detroit.

Most major automakers have been key players for about a decade in the Consumer Electronics Show that happens in Las Vegas about a week before the Detroit auto show."

Read the rest here.
 

Top 10 car innovations for 2020

Between CES and the Detroit auto show 'tis the season to forecast which technological discoveries are going change the landscape five years from now. A Forbes writer thinks he's got a handle on it. Ten bucks says driverless cars top the list.

Ca-ching! Somebody owes me ten bucks.

Excerpt:

"The rate at which technology is changing personal transportation accelerates every year, which can make predicting the arrival of future car tech a dicey proposition. Even more compelling is the increasing priority we’re seeing consumers place on automotive technology during their shopping process at Kelley Blue Book. This had me wondering — what automotive technologies will go from science fiction to commonplace in just the next 5 years. I’ve listed these below in an effort to identify the top 10 advanced car technologies we’ll see in showrooms by 2020."

Read the rest here
 

Creating an alternative transportation system requires more than less cars

The challenge to building a city that truly offers alternative transportation amenities means reconciling some difficult relationships. CityLab sums up the issues with transitioning to a multimodal community.

Excerpt:

"Supporting many modes requires including multiple actors in the planning process, all with different priorities and preferences. More travel choices also means private entrepreneurs will take the lead on some services normally offered by the public sector: from taxi or bus services to parking management to goods movement. And with the benefits of redefining and reallocating street space in a multi-modal system come new political problems in terms of fighting for that space, too."

Read the rest here.

NBC spotlights Dearborn's success with assimilation

NBC visits Dearborn, MI to look at what successful assimilation looks like with regard to to the immigrant Muslim community.

Watch below.



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Royal Oak gets web-savvy parking meters

You know the future is now when even the dreaded parking meter has an app and happily accepts internet transactions.

Excerpt:

The sticker represents Royal Oak’s partnership with Parkmobile, a parking payment provider that allows visitors to conduct parking transactions via their smart phones. Users can pay for parking through the internet, a mobile application or a toll-free number.

There also are options for users to receive alerts to notify them when the time on the meter is set to expire.

Read the rest here.
 

DDOT to get 80 new buses, real-time app

Detroit bus service is entering the new millennium with a fleet of new buses outfitted with GPS technology and an app for riders.

Excerpt:

"The city says 10 of the buses from the fresh fleet will be longer, 60-foot articulated buses that provide additional capacity on DDOT's busiest routes. The other 70 will be standard 40-foot buses. The new fleet arrives thanks to a $38 million in federal grants, with the Michigan Department of Transportation kicking in the necessary amount in local matching funds. "

Read the rest here.
 

How Southfield became a suburb to watch

Local press stalwart Jack Lessenberry sings praises to Southfield's surprising successes.

Excerpt:

"Today, Southfield’s neighborhoods are neat and well-kept. Ranch and two-story houses are on leafy streets a few blocks from the office towers across from the city’s civic center.

Southfield has a huge, impressive new library that other suburbs envy. While there are concerns about the city’s public schools, there has not been the enrollment collapse Detroit schools have experienced.

Southfield’s ethnic transformation has been nearly as dramatic as Detroit’s. The population was less than 1 percent black in 1970. Twenty years later, it was 29 percent."

Read the rest here.
 

How housing stock can influence the fate of an inner ring suburb

While many people understand the longterm impacts of white flight on inner ring communities, what's less obvious is how the post-war housing stock in these communities are gravely impaction their economic future.

Excerpt:

But what’s not being discussed is how this racial tension is happening in some inner ring suburbs and not others. And one of the factors that may be contributing in a strange way is the housing stock in some of those suburbs. And not just the age. The problem is that in some of these suburbs all the housing was built at once, and it is all getting old and unsaleable at the same time — and no new housing is being built to take its place.

The suburbs that seem to be falling victim to quick decline (and the subsequent racial divides) are the ones that had most of their housing built between the end of World War II and 1959. About 60 percent of Ferguson’s housing was built in that time frame, meaning that these old houses are now wearing out all at once, hitting the point where they are not appealing to most new home buyers, regardless of race.

Read the rest here.
 

In Detroit, a shipping container called home

GM is teaming up with a local nonprofit - Michigan Urban Farming Initiative - to provide homes made out of shipping containers. That's pretty dang cool.

Excerpt:

Organizers hope the container project can lure millennials who don't want their grandfather's bungalow yet also provide predominantly poor, longtime residents with a low-cost housing alternative.

"Finding a place where both those communities can find common ground is beautiful," said Gersh, president and co-founder of the group that operates a farm and owns property in the North End, where blight and vacancy are common, but so are signs of residential and commercial renewal. "It's scalable, works for everyone and it's also not going to ruin the environment. It's easier to maintain and can repurpose existing materials."

Read the rest here.
 

Henry Rollins digs obscure Detroit bands

Ever heard of long gone metro Detroit rock bands like Sonic's Rendezvous Band or Death? Henry Rollins has. And he considers them top o' the underground heap.

Excerpt:

"One of the most undermentioned American rock bands of the last century. It was, literally, a Detroit supergroup. Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the MC5 on guitar, Scott Morgan of the Rationals on guitar and vocals, Gary Rasmussen of the Up on bass, and Scott Asheton of the Stooges on drums. This is both post-Stooges and post-MC5. In my opinion, both Smith and Asheton, two of the most solid musicians to come out of the entire Detroit late-'60s, early-'70s scene, both realized their mightiest playing in this band. Most of their recorded output is live material that is fairly easy to locate. They made a single of one of their best tracks, 'City Slang,' and released it in 1978. In a little over 5 minutes, the band delivers some of the most thrilling, blowout, burn-up rock and roll. Smith's tone and attack is without peer, Asheton's solid drive is the epitome of rock drumming. The band is a cohesive thing of perfection. I was introduced to this song in the early '80s and have never recovered."

Read the rest here.
 

Made in Michigan: Failure: Lab

A Grand Rapids company has come up with a new spin on the storytelling craze - an evening of screw ups, bad ideas and set backs. 

Excerpt:

The founders had held events in Detroit, Chicago, and other Michigan cities, when requests from Australia and India started to come in.

In mid-December, Failure: Lab launched a website that encourages its storytelling event planners to connect. The company relies on sponsorships and ticket sales to generate revenue, and they are looking to sign up global sponsors as part of its expansion plan.

Read the rest here.
 

McClary Bros. delivers on new taste for craft vinegar

Vinegar is much more than the standard base of garden-variety salad dressings, or even balsamic. Here's an artisan maker that's using fruits and vegetables to craft gourmet, drinkable vinegars, soon to be found in stores around the country.

Excerpt:

"While craft beers and spirits are gaining much of the buzz, craft cocktails are also seeing a rise in consumer interest. With bars like  Sugar House  and  Punch Bowl Social  in Detroit and  The Oakland  in Ferndale wowing their customers with craft cocktails, there is also a DIY movement for those looking to change up their at-home imbibing. 

That’s where  McClary Bros.  drinking vinegars come in.

Farmington-based McClary Bros. uses locally grown fruits and vegetables to create drinking/culinary vinegars. These vinegars are not like the ones you use to clean out the coffeepot. These are considered “colonial-era drink mixers” in that these recipes are formulated using unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with added natural ingredients...

A semifinalist in the 2014  Comerica Hatch Detroit  business competition, McClary Bros. expects to have distribution for its infused vinegars in 13 or 14 states soon, thanks to word-of-mouth among high-end retailers operating in several states."

More here.

Thrillist ranks Detroit as one of nation's best food cities

When it comes to eats, Detroit is fat city (in the best way). Thrillist applauds metro Detroit's culinary diversity and quality, putting it no. 14 out of 40 of the nation's largest populations centers. We want seconds!

Excerpt:

"When  Detroit  became the magnet for American dream-seekers, it also became the Midwest’s most  diverse and fascinating  food scene. Southerners brought soul food andBBQ  that often stand tall against the cuisine’s origins. Polish food? There’s a whole city within the city --  Hamtramck  -- where you can get some of the country’s best, along with tons of Middle Eastern foods. Greek food and Mexican? Head to Greek Town or Mexico Town. You get the idea.

This is a place where coney has nothing to do with New York, but rather  hot dogs  made exclusively (it’s a law) with real cuts of meat and topped with a meaty coney sauce that will basically ruin all other hot dogs to come. It’s a spot where pizzas are square and thick, with cheese caramelizing the edges. It’s a city where traditions are embraced, adopted, and adjusted to fit a certain Motown mentality. If Detroit was half its size, it would be the most dense and rich food scene in the world. But where it loses points (with the Lions, they’re used to it) in sprawl, it more than makes up for with destination foods scattered across the metro area waiting to be discovered."

More here.
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