Author Topic: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech  (Read 2693 times)

Huffduf41

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Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« on: April 07, 2019, 07:48:29 PM »
Iím a firm believer that the wave of disruption coming is going to crush car dealerships and other areas of the auto industry as we currently know it.

Anyone have any good ideas on how to get long on autonomous vehicles?

Uber IPO?
Nvidia?
Google?

theolympians

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 08:12:28 PM »
Can u explain your reasoning behind that?

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 10:15:55 PM »
Like how people on national TV news mention drivers in the future being replaced by self-driving cars?

If almost everyone knows something, that's not useful market insight.  The market already knows about self-driving cars, and how automation replaces jobs.  Your insight needs to be more accurate than the market's in order for it to be an advantage.

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 10:26:01 PM »
Like how people on national TV news mention drivers in the future being replaced by self-driving cars?

If almost everyone knows something, that's not useful market insight.  The market already knows about self-driving cars, and how automation replaces jobs.  Your insight needs to be more accurate than the market's in order for it to be an advantage.

I disagree entirely. The BBC reported that you've (probably) already bought your last car, but did anyone listen? I don't think so. How many people actually believe that private car ownership will be cut by 82% over the next 13 years? I think most people didn't get the memo.

As to how to invest in it, that's slightly harder. Lyft, Uber, Nvidia, and computer vision companies?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 10:33:53 PM by PDXTabs »

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2019, 10:42:18 PM »
Like how people on national TV news mention drivers in the future being replaced by self-driving cars?

If almost everyone knows something, that's not useful market insight.  The market already knows about self-driving cars, and how automation replaces jobs.  Your insight needs to be more accurate than the market's in order for it to be an advantage.
I disagree entirely. The BBC reported that you've (probably) already bought your last car, but did anyone listen? I don't think so.
I left out some finer points about how the market works in my short description.  Your reply assumed "anyone" represents the market.  By the time everyone/anyone knows something, the market knew it long ago.  The market gained that information first, and traders in relevant stocks (including HFT firms) race to incorporate information into the market.  Much later, national news covers the same information.  Information anyone knows has long ago been reflected in the stock market.  Information can be ignored by the general population and still watched closely by market analysts and traders.

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 11:03:45 PM »
The market gained that information first, and traders in relevant stocks (including HFT firms) race to incorporate information into the market.

HFT firms don't give a shit about what the market is going to be like in 13 years, and neither do many hedge funds or internal trading desks.

Kalergie

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 02:41:11 AM »
Innovation is great! It's really hard to predict it from an investment stand point. I am into aviation so here is my take:

Imagine it's 1903 and the Wright brothers just achieved sustained controlled airplane flight. You KNOW commercial aviation will happen. Now, what would you invest in?

Look how many airlines were founded during the 1970 deregulation in the US. How many of those are still flying despite the fact that aviation grew exponentially?

Noone could have predicted which company would benefit the most from this innovation of de-regulated airplane flight. Probably the entire world benefited from it in a tremendous way. So indexing won again!

Now extrapolate this logic to self-driving cars.

Huffduf41

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 05:13:09 AM »
Innovation is great! It's really hard to predict it from an investment stand point. I am into aviation so here is my take:

Imagine it's 1903 and the Wright brothers just achieved sustained controlled airplane flight. You KNOW commercial aviation will happen. Now, what would you invest in?

Look how many airlines were founded during the 1970 deregulation in the US. How many of those are still flying despite the fact that aviation grew exponentially?

Noone could have predicted which company would benefit the most from this innovation of de-regulated airplane flight. Probably the entire world benefited from it in a tremendous way. So indexing won again!

Now extrapolate this logic to self-driving cars.

That is a great analogy and I 100% agree.  Really tough to pick an individual equity that will be a winner but was hoping to learn more about the crazy amount of sensors that will be necessary or the communication equipment that isnít in vehicles today that will be if cars drive themselves.

AlanStache

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 06:26:00 AM »
I have not seen a way I would be comfortable with investing in autonomous driving sort of a tech focused etf.  Also there are many BIG players in the space where the related autonomous driving is a comparatively small component; ie Google/Alphabet. 

If you could sort car dealerships that might be a bet I would think about but I think most of them are privately owned. 

You could short GM/Ford if you thought there ai driving was to far behind but remember they could just go out and buy/lease the tech if needed. 

I would recommend the podcast a16z off youtube, they have many good shows on this topic and have a bit of an investor focus while going a little deeper into the tech than is normal. 

I like the airline analogy. 

radram

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 07:07:38 AM »
Innovation is great! It's really hard to predict it from an investment stand point. I am into aviation so here is my take:

Imagine it's 1903 and the Wright brothers just achieved sustained controlled airplane flight. You KNOW commercial aviation will happen. Now, what would you invest in?

Look how many airlines were founded during the 1970 deregulation in the US. How many of those are still flying despite the fact that aviation grew exponentially?

Noone could have predicted which company would benefit the most from this innovation of de-regulated airplane flight. Probably the entire world benefited from it in a tremendous way. So indexing won again!

Now extrapolate this logic to self-driving cars.

But you need to add something more:

"...... now extrapolate this logic to self driving cars...." and add 120 years of investment technology.

Now you have the ability to purchase an index fund, or an ETF, whose goal is to mimic the technology by buying ALL of the companies that might benefit instead of just the winners. Who will win, who knows. So buy them all. This just wasn't possible for air travel when it was a baby.

https://investorplace.com/2018/11/7-etfs-for-the-inevitable-boom-in-self-driving-cars/

I looked into this about a year ago. I believe it is too soon. All of these look to be actively managed, with expense ratios in the range of .50%-.75%. If and when I find a non-managed index fund I might take another look. I do not think the short term will outperform the whole market, let alone more than the market to pay for the fees, and the long term has not yet committed to the technology.

I do enjoy researching the idea, just have not backed with real money.

I hope this thread remains active for years so we can continue to discuss.


Huffduf41

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 08:17:47 AM »
Thanks for the ETF link, I wasnít aware they existed.  Some of the top holdings are obvious, others make me scratch my head.

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 09:16:59 AM »
I like Kalergie's post.

I would also add that a large amount of my investment is in FSKAX, whose top holdings include Microsoft and two different classes of Alphabet stock. Ford and Volkswagen are also investing in self driving tech but I'd be surprised if they weren't represented somewhere in my portfolio (especially since I also have a bunch of FSGGX), likewise for Nvidia.

Also, just because Ford, Volkswagen, Uber, Tesla, and Lyft are long self driving doesn't mean that they will all be around in 13 years.

theolympians

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 09:43:10 AM »
Why would the death of car dealerships be the result of self-driving cars?

Unless care are gov't owned, and you pay a tax to use them, wouldn't people still buy the cars they want? In other words, a self-driving car is just another tweek of a product. The same companies will make, market, and sell them.


AlanStache

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2019, 10:05:52 AM »
Why would the death of car dealerships be the result of self-driving cars?

Many people expect that Lyft/Uber/etc with self driving cars will under cut the market for personal car ownership - it will be cheaper and less hassle for people to move towards transportation as a service vs owning a car.  That type of trend can be seen in the younger generation today.  Not everyone will give up a car, and some locations will be hit harder than others, but the market is expected to shrink. 

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2019, 10:13:10 AM »
Why would the death of car dealerships be the result of self-driving cars?

Many people expect that Lyft/Uber/etc with self driving cars will under cut the market for personal car ownership - it will be cheaper and less hassle for people to move towards transportation as a service vs owning a car.

Yes, read the above linked BBC article for why car dealers (but not manufacturers) might have a very hard time.

thesis

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2019, 01:19:39 PM »
This just sounds like regular stock picking. "I think this industry is going to do well, therefore I'll invest in it and hope to get 800% returns when it goes really big!"

I think the book "The Intelligent Investor" describes that business success can easily not have anything to do with the value investors place on the stock. You might luck out, or not. But you'll have to time either way, hoping to get out when it's up, IF it goes up. It's also possible the technology will take longer to perfect than we think. Can you afford to wait that long? Or will you cash out early before the gains? Do you plan to retire off of this? Will you be retiring in the next 10 or 20 years? How much are you willing to gamble on this? And even if the industry does well, how in the world will you know who the winning player will be? Or will your specific stocks go bust?

Telecaster

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2019, 01:39:32 PM »
Innovation is great! It's really hard to predict it from an investment stand point. I am into aviation so here is my take:

Imagine it's 1903 and the Wright brothers just achieved sustained controlled airplane flight. You KNOW commercial aviation will happen. Now, what would you invest in?

Look how many airlines were founded during the 1970 deregulation in the US. How many of those are still flying despite the fact that aviation grew exponentially?

Noone could have predicted which company would benefit the most from this innovation of de-regulated airplane flight. Probably the entire world benefited from it in a tremendous way. So indexing won again!

Now extrapolate this logic to self-driving cars.

I'll take this a step farther:  The actual car industry.  There have been few things that revolutionized American life like the automobile.   So what would it be like to get in on the ground floor?   Take a look at the number of defunct manufacturers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_automobile_manufacturers_of_the_United_States

That's just the United States, mind you.  Answer is that it was probably pretty dismal trying to pick a winner out of all those losers.   

BobTheBuilder

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2019, 03:04:35 PM »
I work in the car industry, to be exact in ADAS / autonomy.

Current state of sensor tech is so bad, you would not want a car that uses a $90 radar from this generation do your city driving.
We are not even at reliable level 2+ autonomy, mainly because of sensor tech/cost.

Level 4 or 5 will most likely require 20/20 vision with combining LIDAR, RADAR, and cameras. That will be stupid expensive at least until 2025.
Level 4 or 5 will most likely also require a strong A.I. doing your driving. Good luck building one.

Long story short: That might very well take more than one business cycle to work, and 80% of the players will be gone because of development costs.
If it really takes off, you still need to pick the right stocks.

If you believe in a tech future, look for the NASDAQ-100.



PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2019, 05:40:57 PM »
Level 4 or 5 will most likely require 20/20 vision with combining LIDAR, RADAR, and cameras. That will be stupid expensive at least until 2025.
Level 4 or 5 will most likely also require a strong A.I. doing your driving. Good luck building one.

It's okay if they are expensive at first, Lyft and Uber are used to losing money and they would run them 24x7 for many hundreds of thousands of miles with no driver cost. Their cost per mile will also be reduced if you assume an all electric drivetrain. Also, Waymo has deep pockets if they decide that they want to play.

As for the AI, I'm not an AI engineer. However, you might be very right. I hear that good autonomous car AI is going to be very power hungry, which would be a problem for the aforementioned all electric drivetrain. But if NVidia is the one to solve that (with custom ASICs if necessary), then they stand to make a lot of money.

If you believe in a tech future, look for the NASDAQ-100.

Probably good advice.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 05:43:14 PM by PDXTabs »

theolympians

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2019, 11:22:37 PM »
Please educate me. I was under the impression uber and lyft hire "independent contractors" to do their driving for them. These drivers use their own cars. I am not sure how it works, but it seems to me that the companies may be able to schuck insurance liability onto the drivers.

Are uber and lyft planning to "invest" in a massive fleet of self-driving cars? It is possible, it would make a great ad campaign. They might be able to buy stock from those companies they buy the cars from.......

reeshau

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 02:38:04 AM »
Please educate me. I was under the impression uber and lyft hire "independent contractors" to do their driving for them. These drivers use their own cars. I am not sure how it works, but it seems to me that the companies may be able to schuck insurance liability onto the drivers.

Are uber and lyft planning to "invest" in a massive fleet of self-driving cars? It is possible, it would make a great ad campaign. They might be able to buy stock from those companies they buy the cars from.......
This is easier to see now that Lyft has IPO'd, and Uber is in the process.  You can look at their S1 statements.

Lyft and Uber need drivers, currently.  For a business with -50% margins (Lyft) adding the expense of employees and company-owned cars would only accelerate the profitability problem.  So, yeah--contractors.  Lyft currently gets about 25% of bookings as revenue.  If they don't have to share the booking with a driver, then there is a ton of room to invest in a 24-hour-operable, consistent, unpaid employee.  (i.e. autonomous car)

But just as was said in this thread, placing one bet is likely to lose.  Lyft is explicitly spreading its bets:  working on its own technology, developing its ride platform for other autonomous companies, (so, keeping the marketplace model, on top of their own) and with no end in site for the current model.  The bet is risky; they lose a lot of money.  But given that scope, they don't know more than anyone else which bet will win, or when.  So they are spreading their bets as well, in the sense of how this technology will eventual manifest itself.

lemonlyman

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 11:19:07 AM »
IMO, Tesla is ahead in this space. They're adding autonomous functions in pieces, but each car they release now has a new chip board specifically designed for self driving. You can find youtube videos from the past month of cars finding their owners in parking lots by themselves and can now do lane changes and change highways with no driver input. Still not 100% on either of those, but they have a fleet of hundreds of thousands are cars in the world giving them data to train their AI. That data input is now growing exponentially with new car sales. They're going to show unreleased tech on it next week. I'm looking forward to it.

Since BobTheBuilder actually works in that space though, I'm skeptical of my own opinion.

brute

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2019, 11:28:05 AM »
I don't do self driving cars, but I am in the AI/ML space. Not a whole lot to add, but best case scenario is VHS vs Beta-max. let's just say that someone figures out the VERY difficult problem of self driving, has a platform secure enough that it can't be hijacked and driven into a river with the doors locked, and can make it all run at a price point that consumers can stomach. Chances are, once the researchers figure it out at one firm, another won't be far behind. Who do you back? I might consider an autonomous car index, but I don't have the nerves to make a bet on any single vendor.

doggyfizzle

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2019, 11:46:46 AM »
I think the single best investment to play the AI (and just more technologically-complex, sensor-ridden) auto boom of the future is Texas Instruments (TXN).  Iíve been in this company for a while, not at all at first with any thought towards auto tech, but the company has been growing its analog sensors for the auto sector business at an incredible clip and shows no signs of slowing down.  Plus you get the semiconductor diversification with other business sectors and a history of extreme FCF generation.  Iím always shocked that for a company with a market cap of $100 billion, it generates nearly no mainstream buzz (thankfully) for its technological innovations compared to Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, etc.

BobTheBuilder

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2019, 01:05:08 PM »
IMO, Tesla is ahead in this space. They're adding autonomous functions in pieces, but each car they release now has a new chip board specifically designed for self driving. You can find youtube videos from the past month of cars finding their owners in parking lots by themselves and can now do lane changes and change highways with no driver input. Still not 100% on either of those, but they have a fleet of hundreds of thousands are cars in the world giving them data to train their AI. That data input is now growing exponentially with new car sales. They're going to show unreleased tech on it next week. I'm looking forward to it.

Since BobTheBuilder actually works in that space though, I'm skeptical of my own opinion.

It may very well be that Tesla has the best imaging software. Maybe their neural nets are so far ahead they really needed to make their own processor for that. But that would be the famous single company bet: max risk and max reward or max loss.

In case you wondered how that headline came to be that "TESLA HIT A FIRETRUCK AT A RED LIGHT!!!": That is very likely because the front radar has, like all current $90 series production radar, a very bad spatial resolution. To avoid false alarms from detecting everything that is not a car, like guard rails / traffic light etc., most radar modules filter out anything that has a doppler shift corresponding to stationary objects (given the ego car's velocity). If additionally your camera system somehow misses the optical flow on that object, you will run into it.

So having a high resolution radar will help. But OEMs don't like the additional cost if you do not clarify the resolution will enable a "feature". Maybe the new crash test (NCAP et al.) regulations concerning active safety will help. If you don't brake for pedestrians in the near future, you will not get a precious 5 star rating on safety any longer. Radar and Lidar will be big business.

robartsd

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2019, 01:12:35 PM »
has a platform secure enough that it can't be hijacked and driven into a river with the doors locked
This is not a requirement - the platform need only be perceived as secure enough, actual security may not be required (but hopefully it is implemented).

I hear that good autonomous car AI is going to be very power hungry, which would be a problem for the aforementioned all electric drivetrain. But if NVidia is the one to solve that (with custom ASICs if necessary), then they stand to make a lot of money.
I think relative to the power required to actually move the car, the AI is a pretty small problem from an energy point of view. I could see the cost of hardware (processing in addition to the earlier mentioned sensors) being a barrier, but these costs will probably come down in similar time frames. Still there is lots of great opportunity for hardware innovators in this space either way.

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2019, 03:03:03 PM »
I hear that good autonomous car AI is going to be very power hungry, which would be a problem for the aforementioned all electric drivetrain. But if NVidia is the one to solve that (with custom ASICs if necessary), then they stand to make a lot of money.
I think relative to the power required to actually move the car, the AI is a pretty small problem from an energy point of view. I could see the cost of hardware (processing in addition to the earlier mentioned sensors) being a barrier, but these costs will probably come down in similar time frames. Still there is lots of great opportunity for hardware innovators in this space either way.

A production car you can buy today, with just cameras and radar, generates something like 6 gigabytes of data every 30 seconds. It's even more for a self-driver, with additional sensors like lidar. All the data needs to be combined, sorted, and turned into a robot-friendly picture of the world, with instructions on how to move through it. That takes huge computing power, which means huge electricity demands. Prototypes use around 2,500 watts, enough to light 40 incandescent light bulbs. - Self-Driving Cars Use Crazy Amounts of Power, and It's Becoming a Problem

We can do some rough math for this Nissan Leaf. It has a  24 kWh battery that will propel it 100 miles in the city. For the sake of simplicity let's say that takes it 5 hour (20 miles/hr) and uses 90% of the battery which is the same as pulling a constant 4.3kW. Now, we are talking about adding a 2.5kW draw just for the self driving system. You could do it, but with a noticeable decrease in range.


Askel

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2019, 06:32:32 PM »
If you believe in a tech future, look for the NASDAQ-100.

Bob knows what is up. 

I'm just posting to follow for the "I am not a _______, but....." giggles.   

I'll spare youse guys another one of my self driving car rants

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2019, 10:15:09 PM »
Another more typical risk: you predict the right company, but so does the CEO of a large car company.  You buy in 10 years early, and before they start doubling every year, they get bought by GM.  Now you hold GM stock, and the benefit of that small company is diluted by GM's size.

yachi

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2019, 03:44:26 PM »
This is a very interesting discussion.  I agree with comments above that when it comes to investing it's just too hard to determine winners and losers even if we know the direction of the future (that self-driving cars will outnumber regular cars in the future).  We may not be at reliable level 2 automation, but we've come as far as we have without requiring changes to the roads the cars operate on. 
Imagine how much easier it would be if we would standardize roads to make self-driving cars safer.  If for example:

Red lights provided magnetic signaling that could be read directly by cheaper sensors.
Emergency vehicles communicated directly to self driving cars like they do to change redlights.
Divided roads were marked in an easily identifiable way so self driving cars wouldn't need to 3D map these areas.
Speed limits were governed by GPS coordinate location instead of or in addition to road signs.

If improvements like the above were implemented, self-driving cars could spend more of their time avoiding pedestrians/ other cars and less time trying to make sense of a system built for visual users.

Now if the above improvements are made, then government will have reduced many barriers to entry for new self-driving cars.


honeyfill

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2019, 06:04:49 PM »
You might want to look at certain sub set  of autonomous vehicles.  There is a huge market for self Driving Semi trucks.   Drivers are in short supply and are relatively highly paid.  Self driving trucks can easily run 20 hours a day.  The trucking companies have a huge incentive to develop the technology as quickly as possible.
I believe this will be the first place self driving vehicles will be profitable.  Unfortunately, the companies are all private start ups right now. If they are not bought up by Mercedes or Paccar , watch for companies to go public.  One good one is Tusimple.  Don't ask me how I know this, I just do. :-)

Radagast

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2019, 12:31:48 AM »
I'm thinkin dreamy house in the exurbs. The type that has a great view and modern floor plan in a natural area, 1-2 hours drive from a major metropolis, in an under-appreciated area. Water or mountains nearby. It should cover all costs via Air BnB in the meantime. Once driverless cars become reliable and $0.10 per mile, everybody will want to depart the city and commute to work. Instead of a burden, a 2 hour commute will be seen as a highly desirable way to catch up on sleep in the morning and unwind after work of an afternoon. Therefore, prize real estate in the 1-2 hour range could rise substantially.

Along those lines, fast trendy rest stops along the route.

MaaS

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2019, 08:42:47 AM »
You might want to look at certain sub set  of autonomous vehicles.  There is a huge market for self Driving Semi trucks.   Drivers are in short supply and are relatively highly paid.  Self driving trucks can easily run 20 hours a day.  The trucking companies have a huge incentive to develop the technology as quickly as possible.
I believe this will be the first place self driving vehicles will be profitable.  Unfortunately, the companies are all private start ups right now. If they are not bought up by Mercedes or Paccar , watch for companies to go public.  One good one is Tusimple.  Don't ask me how I know this, I just do. :-)

It sounds like you're in the industry. I've done a lot of work in the industry as well and it really feels a decade away at any meaningful scale. The progress is incredible, but there's so much to do yet, not to mention regulatory hurdles. But yeah, long haul trucking is probably the 1st major market to go autonomous.

To the OP's question - I'd roll with Google. Waymo is a leader, and if they win, you win big. If they lose, you still own an advertising cash machine. Your risk/worst case scenario with Google is probably just underperforming the market by a couple points.

robartsd

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2019, 08:54:28 AM »
I'm thinkin dreamy house in the exurbs. The type that has a great view and modern floor plan in a natural area, 1-2 hours drive from a major metropolis, in an under-appreciated area. Water or mountains nearby. It should cover all costs via Air BnB in the meantime. Once driverless cars become reliable and $0.10 per mile, everybody will want to depart the city and commute to work. Instead of a burden, a 2 hour commute will be seen as a highly desirable way to catch up on sleep in the morning and unwind after work of an afternoon. Therefore, prize real estate in the 1-2 hour range could rise substantially.

Along those lines, fast trendy rest stops along the route.
I can see people finishing up sleep in a two hour driverless car ride in the morning; however, I think many people would count the evening commute against time with their family; so a new wave of urban exodus may not be as strong as you predict.

I could also see the driverless car rates varying by location with exurb rates being higher due to the higher probability that the car will have to travel a great distance and/or wait a long time between picking up fares.

honeyfill

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2019, 09:05:05 PM »
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2019/04/17/robo-rigs-a-scientist-with-the-vision-to-turn-self-driving-semis-into-big-business/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-dozen#224aa8c11af4


Great article in Forbes about the future of self driving vehicles.  They agree with most people familiar with the field: Commercial trucking will be the first money making application of the technology. 
They also agree with me that Tusimple is the clear leader in commercial trucking.   
Tusimple is a private company. It will be difficult to make big money with this company.  If they stay private or sell out to a big company, then there is no way for the average person to make money.  If they go public via an IPO, there will be a lot of big money people jumping in first , so the easy money will be made before the general public has a chance to buy a significant amount of shares.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2019, 02:52:17 AM »
The market gained that information first, and traders in relevant stocks (including HFT firms) race to incorporate information into the market.
HFT firms don't give a shit about what the market is going to be like in 13 years, and neither do many hedge funds or internal trading desks.
Every time I mention the market, you claim the market doesn't pay attention - it's not efficient.  I disagree.

PDXTabs

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2019, 10:07:09 PM »
The market gained that information first, and traders in relevant stocks (including HFT firms) race to incorporate information into the market.
HFT firms don't give a shit about what the market is going to be like in 13 years, and neither do many hedge funds or internal trading desks.
Every time I mention the market, you claim the market doesn't pay attention - it's not efficient.  I disagree.

Define efficient? Are HST firms efficient at HST? Damn straight they are.

Are long-short hedge funds efficient at being long-short? Probably. But that firm might lose money compared to VTI, and in the long term they are almost guaranteed to.

Villanelle

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2019, 01:04:23 PM »
I'm thinkin dreamy house in the exurbs. The type that has a great view and modern floor plan in a natural area, 1-2 hours drive from a major metropolis, in an under-appreciated area. Water or mountains nearby. It should cover all costs via Air BnB in the meantime. Once driverless cars become reliable and $0.10 per mile, everybody will want to depart the city and commute to work. Instead of a burden, a 2 hour commute will be seen as a highly desirable way to catch up on sleep in the morning and unwind after work of an afternoon. Therefore, prize real estate in the 1-2 hour range could rise substantially.

Along those lines, fast trendy rest stops along the route.
I can see people finishing up sleep in a two hour driverless car ride in the morning; however, I think many people would count the evening commute against time with their family; so a new wave of urban exodus may not be as strong as you predict.

I could also see the driverless car rates varying by location with exurb rates being higher due to the higher probability that the car will have to travel a great distance and/or wait a long time between picking up fares.

Self-driving cars or no, this is NOT a place I want to live, and I think it's odd to assume that this is a dream for most people.  My dream neighborhood is pretty much the one for which I just signed a lease.  It's a walkable old downtown area.  That means lots of shops and restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk (and even more <15 minutes).  I anticipate driving probably once a week, and that will primarily be for social time with friends.  Why would I want to live two hours away from all that, self-driving car or no? (That's a rhetorical question as a know that for some people, that level of seclusion is a perk, but for me it's hugely unattractive.)  I don't want that lifestyle, and that has nothing to do with driving.  I wouldn't even consider it, even after we are fully FIRE, for many reasons.  I want to be near restaurants.  I want to be able to run to the grocery store when I forgot milk or have a craving for ice cream, and be home again in 15 minutes or less.  I want to pop over the the weekly farmer's market for strawberries and homemade jam from that delightful elderly lady who makes it in her kitchen.  I want to go to the theater (without a 2 hour drive or ride). 

There are lots of reasons people don't live out in the middle of nothing, and those reasons aren't going to change with self-driving cars.  In fact, for many people, self-driving cars might make the lifestyle I mentioned even more attractive.  In my area, most homes don't have garages or even reserved parking, and that keeps some people away because they still want cars to get to work and to do things more than a few miles away.  If they could reliably and affordably (so, cheaper than a current Uber/Lyft) call up a self-driving car, it might actually send more people into densely populated areas, not out of them.

My overall point is that it is incredibly hard to predict the ripple affects of most things, and that assuming that everyone will react in the same way we predict we will react isn't likely to have great results.

So I guess I will continue not stock picking and will be happy that my S&P, total market, or NASDAQ mutual funds almost certainly own the companies that will benefit from this transition, whenever it happens.  Of course, they also almost certainly include the companies that will lose, or perhaps even fold, from this transition, but I don't need to get obscenely rich.  I only need to stay middle class rich. 


Askel

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Re: Investing in autonomous vehicle tech
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2019, 04:03:54 PM »
"This is really hard, so fuck it. Let's just crash sometimes." 

https://jalopnik.com/having-perfected-self-driving-cars-tesla-is-working-on-1834224051