January 11, 2024

Bozeman Journal

Good Morning & welcome to the very first Bozeman Journal Newsletter! If you've opened this - you're early to something really great and we appreciate you.

In this edition:

  • Bozeman Mayor sworn in
  • Local team making self-driving trucks a reality
  • Things to Do This Weekend

Bozeman Swears in Mayor

A Photo of Bozeman City Hall

Bozeman City Government

Terry Cunningham was sworn in on Tuesday as the new Mayor, marking the end of Mayor Cyndy Andrus' 14 year tenure on the city commission. Joey Morrison, who was elected to start as mayor in 2026, was sworn in as the new Deputy Mayor.

High (Pressure) Times: All that eggnog over the holidays wasn't the only thing leading to rising blood pressure in 2023. Bozeman has seen sharp divisions over important matters like urban camping, affordable housing, Airbnb regulations and city development rezoning proposals.

Gets... Stuff Done: According to Terry (or rather some party goers) he "gets $H!T done". Terry comes into the role with previous experience fighting for housing and development rights while Joey, a newcomer to City Hall has spent his young career as a social worker and housing organizer.

If there was ever a duo to help lead the charge on all things housing & urban development it seems like these guys are the Shaq & Kobe of local politics. Time will tell if this is the slam dunk Bozeman was looking for.

City Commission meets every Tuesday night at 6:00pm at City Hall.

Look Ma, No Hands

Aurora Self Driving Truck

Aurora Press

Self-driving trucks could be hitting the roads around Dallas, TX, by the end of 2024, thanks in part to the significant efforts of Aurora's Bozeman office. Since their acquisition in 2019, the Bozeman based Aurora lidar team has been iterating on their Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) lidar technology. This cutting-edge work is crucial in advancing Aurora's goal to roll out their self-driving vehicles.

Why it matters: Aurora is betting big on FMCW lidar, believing it to be a vital component in its self-driving system; the Aurora Driver. The lidar technology's strength lies in its capacity to instantaneously determine the velocity of surrounding objects using the Doppler Effect, making it a game-changer in vehicle sensing capabilities and ultimately ensuring the safety for both the self-driving vehicle and others on the road.

Safety First: Utilizing collision scenario data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Aurora has continuously enhanced their lidar-based platform's accident prevention capabilities through virtual simulations and testing on closed-circuit tracks. With the ability to see up to 400 meters in all directions, Aurora is making significant strides in increasing reaction time and attempting to reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents on the road.

Zeb Barber, Senior Director of Lidar Research & Development Aurora’s Bozeman office, says "Bozeman’s lidar expertise has been a core part of Aurora’s story that is driving us toward our commercial launch expected at the end of this year."

Looking ahead: Barber says, "we're excited to expand our footprint in Bozeman while investing in local education and training to continue building up Bozeman as a center of excellence in photonics development."

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Things To Do This Weekend

Hael Somma, Chamonix, France. Photo by Antoine Mesnage.