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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/
Looking To Buy A Car? Read This
Most people need to shop for a car every so often. Unless you have done your research, the whole process may be overwhelming. Keep reading for some useful advice that can help things go smoothly and make decision making a great deal easier.
Don’t let salesmen talk you into anything that is unaffordable. Dealers are great at talking you into something you may regret later. Don’t listen to any rhetoric that goes beyond the car’s shape and its value. Remember that salespeople are motivated by the commissions they will make if they sell you an expensive vehicle.
You do yourself a great disservice if you fail to negotiate a price lower than sticker. Never pay the sticker price for cars. Dealers increase the price in order to have wiggle room with the customer; use this to your advantage.
Before buying a used car from a dealership, ask to have it looked over by a third-party mechanic. You should go somewhere else if the dealer refuses to let that happen. You want someone who has an impartial opinion and is doing things in your best interest.
You should never pay the full sticker price of a car. The price on the sticker isn’t what the dealer really wants. If you aren’t comfortable negotiating, bring someone who is. Have a ballpark figure in mind before you go.
Bring a friend on your shopping trip. This person has the ability to act as the perfect sounding board, and they can help you leave a deal that is not great for you. You can take your significant other with you, your mom or dad, or a friend.
If you drive a pricey vehicle already, don’t bring it with you on your car shopping trip. The dealer will take one look at your vehicle and refuse to work with you on negotiating a lower price. The only time this is a good idea is if you are planning to trade in such a vehicle.
Never disclose the trade-in, what you have down, or what you want until you have a price ironed out. These things should all be taken off the bottom line price. You will get a better price by negotiating the deal first, and then discussing these “extras”.
Put the Internet to work for you. You can find all sorts of cars online. Learn about all the makes and models available. By using the Internet, it is possible to come up with ratings, specifications, MPG, size, resale value and much more.
Prior to shopping for a used or new car, check your budget. You need to know what you can, and what you can’t, buy. You should establish a monthly budget for your car payments and your insurance. You may want to go loan shopping prior to looking at cars.
As the dealer to let you have a mechanic look at the car. Find your own reputable mechanic, and don’t settle for one the dealership offers. Don’t use a mechanic your dealer recommends to you. Your mechanic will tell you what is wrong with the car, and whether the price is right.
Do not mention your trade-in right away. You should never tell the dealer about your trade-in without first ensuring you have secured the lowest possible price for your new vehicle. When a salesperson knows about your trade-in, he or she may factor it into the sales price, which can work against you.
While there are positive aspects involved in purchasing a vehicle, many people dread the very thought. Thankfully, if you spend some time to do some research, buying a car can be fun. With any luck, everything you’ve read here has made you more confident and courageous for the task at hand.