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Forget dot coms and social networks. The hotspot for research and investment in Silicon Valley right now is the future of transport . Convince the valley you have a new way to create a brain for a self-driving car , help people find parking, detect a drowsy driver, or build a personal electric plane , and you’ll find yourself showered in VC funding. That explains the madness of the above chart ( Click to see full-size ). The “Future of Transportation Stack,” produced by VC firm Comet Labs, counts 263 companies, most of which you’ve probably never heard of, all of them vying to cash in on the nascent automotive revolution. “We really wanted to make a comprehensive list of AI startups in this space, and also the enabling technologies,” says Taylor Stewart, who heads up transportation at Comet Labs. She spent weeks poring over company data to find the most interesting, based on criteria like employees, interaction with academia and universities, valuation, and approach to whatever problem they’re targeting. “We’re sure there’s some people we’ve missed globally, but this is our research into who’s taking a unique approach to the problems.” The stack functions as a mix of shopping list and how-to guide for autonomous cars. Start at the bottom and grab the sensors that will let your car see the world: lidar, cameras, radar. The autonomy bit comes in the middle of the stack because you need more than driving skills to win this game. The top rung goes to the startups with ideas on how to make driverless cars useful, secure, and profitable. That’s where you’ll find Uber and Lyft, along with lesser known folks like RideCell, which works with mass transit agencies. Of course this chart only gives one layer of information—that these companies exist. Under the calm surface of a neatly ordered diagram, the picture is more complex, because these companies are all interacting with each other, and the larger, more established car companies. Cadillac Cracks a Self-Driving Puzzle by Shoving a Camera in Your Face The transportation industry is reforming and reinventing itself to accommodate these changes, through mergers, acquisitions, and collaborations at an incredible pace. Look at GM’s purchase of Cruise Automation , or Ford’s heavy investment in artificial intelligence startup Argo AI . Trying to represent that, assuming you could get the often secret data, is a near-impossible task. “It would be a spider web all over,” says Stewart. Just don’t bother committing the chart to memory. This field is changing so fast, it will be out of date within a few months, as companies fail, merge, get snapped up, and emerge. And if you think you have an idea that isn’t represented, Comet wants to hear from you. Now’s the chance to make your millions, in Silicon Valley’s latest tech boom. Robots & Us: When Machines Take the Wheel Autonomous driving technology could make getting around safer, more efficient, and less expensive. What will it mean for the millions of people who drive for a living and is it really ready for the road?
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.wired.com/2017/05/mapped-top-263-companies-racing-toward-autonomous-cars/
Confused? Handle Car Shopping With Ease With This Advice
Car shopping can feel like a momentous experience. Lots of people don’t know too much about cars, and others know too much so they feel like they aren’t getting their money’s worth. If you apply these tips, you can be sure that you will get the best value during your next car purchase.
Make sure that you work with the dealership to lower the sticker price of the vehicle. In fact, you should never purchase a car for the listed price. Dealers increase the price in order to have wiggle room with the customer; use this to your advantage.
Check online for deals. You can save thousands by doing an Internet search. The right vehicle may be a short drive away, or your local dealership may be able to bring it in on your behalf. This is the smart way to shop for a new car.
Focus on the overall price, not the monthly price, in negotiations. Dealers can make any monthly price happen, but you’ll pay monthly prices for years on the total cost of an outrageously-priced car. That’s why you need to look at the total price and the financing on that. Then you can figure out monthly payments.
If you’re getting a car from someone privately, get a mechanic you know to look at it first. If the seller doesn’t allow the mechanic, walk away. This could mean you have to pay for problems that aren’t evident at the time. You shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where a surprise may arise.
Get recommendations from people you trust. Are they pleased with their own vehicles? Do they regret buying the one they have? What things are they hearing about different cars that are out there? This gives you trustworthy information to go on.
If you don’t think that you can stay away from the pressure during any sales pitches, you shouldn’t go shopping alone for a vehicle. They will help you get a better price and ask hard questions. Brief your companion on your vehicle needs and how much you have available to spend.
Ask if you can have the car looked over by your mechanic. This mechanic needs to be one you can trust. Don’t use a dealer mechanic. Your mechanic will be able to let you know whether or not the car is worth the asking price and road-worthy.
Do not mention your trade-in right away. You should negotiate a good price before you talk about trading in your old vehicle. If you disclose too early, the dealer can use the trade-in against you and give you a poor deal on your new car to make up for the trade-in.
There are many valuable resources available online. It isn’t necessary to go to a lot anymore. Search sites such as eBay and Craigslist for the best selection. Using this technique will allow you to save time and the headache generally associated with car buying.
Research through the web and magazines for information when buying a car used. The Internet has many sources that can help you figure out the value of a car. Kelly Blue Book is a great resource to determine the value of a car. If your dealer is attempting to sell you a car for a larger price than these two sources say it’s worth, then walk away.
At the end of the month, it’s sometimes easier to shop for cars. Salespeople want to meet their monthly goals by making another sale that could put them in their desired count. Begin the process of negotiating on price two or three days before the month ends. This will give you time to make a wise decision and get a great deal.
You should now be more prepared to get the best car for you. The tips offered above will make the process so much easier. You will feel happy and content with your purchase and your bank account will thank you as well!