Time - or not - to invest in Autonomous Driving Tech?
Ok…while I don’t think we’re all going to be riding in the back of driverless cars, doing whatever else we may be occupied with while cruising down the highway - at least anytime soon; I have come to believe that there is substantial future niche to the concept that may bloom sooner rather than later. In fact - as many of you smarter folks already know, its budding out, if not fully blooming, even as I write this.
Specifically, the opportunity for autonomous transportation is already edging its way across the country as well as already debuting on par the world stage. There are test programs in San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin Tx, and many other cities. And inner city autonomous transportation is the immediate niche I am looking at. We outliers - by distance as well as age, will not be ditching our vehicles for a driverless vehicle any time soon. And before you TSLA folks throw that particular company at me - keep in mind that TSLA does not feature driverless tech (although it is working on what it calls Robo-Taxi) - it requires an alert driver in the vehicle to monitor things - such as they might develop.
The problem with investing in Autonomous Driving - as far as I can figure out, is simply trying to figure out where to place your investments: there are a great many companies working on this and all have something appealing that you could hang your hat on. Here are the ones I am vaguely familiar enough with but just enough to lose a great deal of money:
TSLA doesn’t depend on radar or LIDAR or whatever you call it: TSLA features a number of cameras to monitor the road along with the software to react to changing traffic conditions.
Pro: First Mover - Elon - Experience.
Con: High Valuation
Apple has been rumored to be developing an autonomous driving vehicle for some time. Their history of excellent product design, leading tech along with spectacular consumer appeal would pop their stock further into the stratosphere.
PRO: Its Apple
CON: The Fool has been speculating on a new Apple product for years that has never appeared.
Sure their bread and butter is search and advertising but they already have an operational autonomous driving vehicle: Alex - I’ll take What is Waymo One for $500. Waymo One is now operational in both Phoenix and San Francisco:
PRO: Waymo is already successful and ready to continuously expand
CON: Eventually Google will spin Waymo off but for now you have to buy Google to get a piece of Waymo.
GM is fully committed to the EV movement and owns about 75-80% of a company called Cruise:
Cruise is fully operational in San Francisco and has an agreement with Walmart to provide self-driving grocery delivery. They also partner with Honda.
PRO: GM is fully preparing for an EV future and no one would say they are overvalued.
CON: It’s GM
INTC bought a company called Mobileye which is a candidate for Most Highly Anticipated IPO of the Year with a semi-scheduled IPO sometime in the middle of 2022. The company originally went public back in 2014 and was acquired by INTC sometime in 2017.
PRO: They are a serious contender with proven Israeli developed Technology.
CON: Buying into this IPO is gonna cost so sky high coin.
Note: I believe that if you are an Intel shareholder you will have access to Mobileye shares. Have to check that out.
Others to explore:
Baidu - Apollo
All the Best,
Partnered with Ford, Walmart, Volkswagen and LYFT. Their tech is in the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Volkswagen BUZZ.
PRO: Have current developing commercial operations in Germany and expected to IPO in 2022.