What You Need To Know About The Self-Driving Revolution
Did you ever see the film Total Recall? The movie is full of things that were definitely in the realm of science fiction 30 years ago – but are slowly but surely creeping into reality.
Mind implants, vacations to Mars… those are still a ways off.
But there’s one scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character hops in an unmanned “Johnny Cab” that was driven by a robot.
Turns out that one is closer to reality than you think — and rapidly gaining consumer acceptance.
The Self-Driving Future
I recently discussed this topic in my Takeover Trader premium service. We won’t dig too deep into the technology, though. I simply want this to serve as a primer for you to get acquainted with what’s happening so that when the time is right, you’ll be ready. All you need to know for now is that developers are perfecting systems that utilize lasers, sensors, and cameras in conjunction with sophisticated software that scans the roadways and sends real-time steering, acceleration, and braking commands to the vehicle.
In theory, self-driving cars would be safer. They would eliminate aggressive driving behavior (no more tailgating or running red lights). Not only that, but computers would always keep their “eyes” on the road and never get distracted by incoming texts or the need to change radio stations.
Personally, I would feel a bit nervous about climbing into a vehicle with nobody behind the steering wheel. Americans are still divided on the issue, with at least 70% showing some level of anxiety according to polls. But the technology is still in its infancy. There was similar fear in the early days of commercial air travel before it was proven safe.
Plus, this transition is being gradually phased in. Already, many vehicles leave the factory outfitted with autonomous safety features, such as lane departure alerts or automatic emergency braking to avoid a collision. The newest Acura, for example, offers adaptive cruise control that can maintain the pace of traffic down to a full stop. The BMW 5 can even parallel park itself.
Introducing: The Players
Whatever your personal feelings, there are dozens of companies investing billions of dollars in this race. You probably already know about Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA), which is at the vanguard of this movement. All-new Tesla Model 3s are now equipped with full self-driving hardware, including rain and fog-piercing radars, eight surrounding cameras for 360-degree visibility, and 40 times the onboard computing power of the prior generation.
Traditional automakers are also venturing into this new world.
General Motors (NYSE: GM) invested $1 billion to acquire Cruise, a start-up company working on driverless passenger vans. A prototype Nissan Leaf driverless electric car just completed a 230-mile test drive in England. Honda has pledged to invest $2.75 billion over the next decade in autonomous vehicle development.
Volvo has developed self-driving cars for Uber.
Big tech firms are also angling for a piece of the pie.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), for example, has provided financial backing to a Chinese ride-hailing firm that plans to launch a fleet of 1 million robotaxis.
Google parent Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG) has been a pioneer in this space since 2009. And it just might have the inside track.
Google’s self-driving car project is now a fully-fledged subsidiary called Waymo (a new way forward in mobility). Waymo has overseen 300,000 autonomous test miles and partnered with automakers such as Lexus and Chrysler to integrate self-driving hardware on mass-production vehicles. The company is now using the Phoenix market as a testing ground for driverless ride-hailing services.
Action To Take
All of which brings us to the point of how to invest in this space.
The short answer is that there aren’t a lot of ways to directly invest in this trend. For now.
That will change soon. But if you follow all the billions in investment capital, and you see a common thread. Developers aren’t necessarily focusing their efforts on putting a fully autonomous vehicle in your garage. At least not yet. Most consumers aren’t ready for that; it’s probably another decade away.
But… they might be willing to take a ride in one across town – hence the application of this game-changing technology to taxis and ride-sharing services.
There is big potential at the intersection of these two trends. How big?
Well, Morningstar forecasts the global ridesharing market to more than double to $550 billion in annual revenue by 2024. With the biggest names from Detroit to California choosing sides and forming alliances, I’m predicting this will be the next shoe to drop in the self-driving revolution.
I’ve got a couple ideas for how my premium readers can get in on this trend in the early stages. But bottom line, growth-minded investors need to pay attention to this trend now – because there will be big profits to be had as self-driving technology becomes a reality.
Another big trend I’m watching is the rollout of 5G technology.
And that’s why I was interested to learn about my colleague Stephen Leeb’s top pick for the 5G revolution.
To put it simply, the 5G rollout will be impossible without this small company’s key technology.
The good news: if you buy these cheap shares today, you could see a life-changing gain over the next few months. But there may be only a few days left before Wall Street catches wind of this company and spoils the party for everyone. This report shows you how to get started right away.