- The driverless car movement is exploding with car makers, tech companies and ride-sharing services getting in on the action.
- Toyota has entered the game with a $500 million investment in Uber.
- Morgan Stanley has shown confidence in Alphabet’s car company by raising Alphabet’s stock target price to $1,515.
By now, consumers are familiar with semi-autonomous technology in wide variety of car makes and models, and the next generation of these types of vehicles is ramping up. Car makers, technology companies and even ride-sharing services all are getting in on the driverless car revolution.
As a result, the self-driving car market could be worth $7 trillion by 2050, according to a 2017 report from Intel and Strategy Analytics on the economic impact of autonomous car service. Check the following list to find out where you can invest and get a piece of this upcoming lucrative market.
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Up until now, Toyota (Nasdaq: TM) has been lagging behind the competition in the autonomous car market. But it finally has stepped up its game with a $500 million investment. Toyota announced that it’s partnering with ride-sharing service Uber in an effort to develop self-driving cars, according to Reuters. The plan is combine Uber’s autonomous driving system with Toyota’s automated safety system Guardian — which currently offers features such as lane-assist. The combined tech is targeted at Toyota’s Sienna minivan, which is set to be released in Uber’s network in 2021.
Ford (Nasdaq: F) plans to have a fully autonomous vehicle in place by 2021, which will operate without a steering wheel, gas pedal or brake pedal. To help make its goals a reality, the car-production giant has entered into partnerships with four tech companies: Velodyne, SAIPS, Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC and Civil Maps. In July, Ford announced that it was creating a separate unit, Ford Autonomous Vehicles, and will invest $4 billion into the venture through 2023.
3. General Motors
GM (Nasdaq: GM) is a front-runner in the self-driving car race with its Cruise AV model. The vehicle, which is being made without a steering wheel or pedals, is slated to be sold starting in 2019, according to MarketWatch. In May of this year, tech investment company Softbank announced that it would be investing $2.25 billion in General Motor’s self-driving car production efforts. Part of what attracted Softbank to GM was the car company’s ability to quickly produce a large number of autonomous cars.
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Nvidia Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) has entered a partnership with Daimler AG, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and Robert Bosch, a German engineering and electronics company. The two companies plan to use Nvidia’s DRIVE Pegasus system as the springboard for autonomous vehicle designs kicking off in 2020. Nvidia’s AI product has the capability to work at nearly instantaneous speeds to power self-driven vehicles.
Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL) is the parent company of Waymo, the autonomous car company that emerged from Google’s self-driving car division. Since 2009,Waymo’s fleet has driven over 8 million miles, mostly on the streets of cities like San Francisco, Austin and Detroit. The company launched its trial early rider program in Phoenix this year, which allows people to hail and ride in Waymo’s self-driving vehicles in exchange for their feedback. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak believes in Waymo’s potential “We see the launch of Waymo’s ride-hailing service by year-end as a potential catalyst for value realization.” On Wednesday Morgan Stanley raised the stock’s target price to $1,515.
Uber is privately held so there’s currently no direct way to invest in the company. Uber’s driverless offering has had its share of bad press: One of its self-driving SUVs was involved in a pedestrian death in March. But the company hasn’t given up on the self-driving market. In fact, it’s still involved in a big way. Besides the company’s recent $500 million dollar licensing deal with Toyota, Uber has also invested in Volvos and plans to add its self-driving tech to them as part of its own fleet. Additionally, Daimler AG plans to own and operate its cars via Uber, Fortune reported.
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