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Mary Meeker: With self-driving cars, the second golden age of the U.S. auto industry may be coming

The United States is home to many key components of a productive auto industry.

Between 1910 and the 1970s, the U.S. led the global effort to streamline production of vehicles, and by the 1950s, the U.S. had come into the golden age of the auto industry. Then, in the 1980s, the Japanese auto industry took over. And by the 2000s, many major U.S. automakers were forced to take government bailouts.

But over the last two years, we've seen the U.S auto industry gradually returning to its heyday. With new technology and competition from newcomers, automakers have ramped up their production. The U.S. has the potential to be the global hub of the auto industry yet again, Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker said at this year's Code Conference.

That's because the country is once again home to many of the key components of a successful and productive auto ecosystem. Today, two of the Top 10 incumbent automakers in the world — General Motors and Ford — plus Tesla, the biggest electric vehicle manufacturer globally, are headquartered in the U.S.. In addition to a number of universities with programs that focus on autonomous technologies, many of the companies leading the charge in both autonomous technology and mobility services are also based in the U.S.

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