There used to be a day when every third American owned a horse. Now, every 1.3 Americans owns an automobile. The landscape changed. Along the way, we stopped complaining about animal feed, stables, and horse dung, and we started worrying about smog, traffic, and climate change.
Much of the change was propelled by the internal combustion engine. Later, cars were upgraded with electrical starters, power steering, anti-lock brakes. Soon the car became more affordable with Ford’s Model T and the assembly line. Over the course of several decades, horse ownership was replaced by car ownership. And with this shift, cars were woven into the fabric of America, affecting everything from infrastructure to culture.
At 500, we have our eyes on another monumental shift. We see a future in ride-sharing adoption. We see a future in autonomous vehicles. We see a future in electric vehicles. But which technologies will revolutionize the cars of today as the assembly line did for the generation before? Which startups will lead the charge?
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