The history of the automotive industry is paved in taking luxury technologies and democratizing them to empower the masses to move faster, safer and more efficiently. Henry Ford’s Model T, assembly line and modern factory wage plan essentially created the 20th Century American city, the middle class, and a car culture that’s transformed and traversed the globe. For approximately a century – although cars have gotten safer, faster and more fuel-efficient – the guts of the industry and that culture hasn’t changed much. There hasn’t been a truly successful American auto startup since Chrysler in 1925.
“I think it's a characteristic of all innovators; to recognize talent in others and then get those others to buy into your own personal vision.”
Matt Anderson, Curator of Transportation, Henry Ford Museum
What you’ll hear in this episode
- The first cars cost nearly 7x the average annual salary
- Possibly the most wide-reaching industry disruption in US history
- Half the automobiles driven in the world were once the same car
- The common-sense invention of the assembly line
- The 90-minute car
- A factory that doubled worker’s wages overnight and changed the world
- How Henry Ford created the American middle class
- How a car only turned a $2 profit
- Ironically, how wheel brakes allowed cars to zoom faster
- An industry trend toward smaller, safer, and overseas manufacturing
- Who finally made electric cars sexy?
- This month, the first reasonably-priced electric vehicle is finally here.
- Elon Musk’s biggest gamble (other than, you know, privatized space travel)
- Are legacy car companies doomed?
- 100 million lines of code. On wheels.
- Why we haven’t had a successful car startup in the US since 1925
- The autonomous car takeover
- Ford’s billion-dollar self-driving car project
- The far-reaching impact self-driving cars will have on cities and jobs
- How close are we to living in this brave new driverless world?
Is a senior partner at McKinsey’s Automotive Practice in Detroit office. He’s been with McKinsey for more than 26 years serving automakers, their suppliers and technologists in the field.
Is the CEO of Argo AI. He is the former director for hardware development with Google’s self-driving car division and project manager of at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.
Is the CEO of Voyage, building self-driving taxis. He’s the former VP of Engineering at Udacity.
Is the curator of transportation at The Henry Ford.
Is the author of NYT best seller Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. He’s also a writer for Businessweek and host of Hello World.
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