D20 Rockets to New High As BYD, 4 Other Stocks Gain More Than 10 Percent

The Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) exploded skyward, up 14.15 points to a new all-time high of 240.33 this week, led by Chinese automaker BYD.

Eighteen price gainers blitzed two price losers to push the D20 up 6.3 percent, the third-largest positive move ever for the D20. Five D20 stocks had price increases of more than 10 percent.

With the Chinese Government considering a ban on vehicles that use gas, Chinese electric vehicles maker BYD (BYDDY) saw its stock price leap a whopping D20 20.3 percent to close at $14.43 — the largest jump for any stock in a single week in D20 history.

The other four 10-percent-plus price gainers were D20 newcomer Autoliv (ALV) at 14 percent, Japanese-based Renesas Electronics (TYO:6723) at 12.7 percent, Tesla (TLSA) at 10.6 percent, and NVIDIA (NVDA) at 10 percent.

Neither the Dow nor the S&P 500 could hold a candle to the D20’s explosive rise. The Dow gained 2.2 percent to close at 22268.34 while the S&P 500 added 1.6 percent to rise just above 2500 and end the week at 2500.23.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

Up-and-Comers:

Samsung’s first investment from its new Automotive Innovation Fund was a €75 million investment in TTTech. Among other products, TTTech designs and manufactures advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). In the past, TTTech has partnered with Audi, a division of Volkswagen (VLKPY) and Renesas Electronics Corp. (TYO:6723), both members of the D20.

Driverless vehicle start-up Zoox is searching for additional investments. Menlo Park-based Zoox raised money from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Lux Capital and others based on a $1.5-billion valuation. Rumors are that Japan’s Softbank is interested in investing. Zoox has been very secretive about product plans and strategies.

News Roundup: GM and Cruise Automation Announce ‘Mass-Production-Ready’ Autonomous Car, Renault Teases a Driverless Electric Car That Can Power Your Home, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

GM and Cruise Automation announce ‘mass-production-ready’ self-driving car

Cruise Automation and its parent company, General Motors, which acquired the startup last year, announced this week that their latest self-driving car is ready for mass production. Kyle Vogt, CEO of the San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, said that their latest model has “full redundancy” throughout the autonomous system, so that it’s ready mechanically, and from a sensor and software perspective, to “fail operationally and be safe.” The vehicle itself will be based on GM’s Chevrolet Bolt, and will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Orion, Michigan. GM and Cruise are currently getting everything in place at the plant to be prepared to roll out hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year that, from the outside, look like a normal Chevy Bolt, but on the inside, feature a sophisticated system capable of full automation with no help needed from a human driver. Read more from TechCrunch.

 

Renault Symbioz is a driverless car that doubles as an extra room in your connected house

Renault’s latest autonomous concept car is much more than that. The “Symbioz” is a sleek, ultra-modern, autonomous vehicle whose seats can rotate to face each other and form a comfortable lounge of sorts. In addition, Renault has designed a smart home that pairs with the car. The car can pull into an open space in the house and become an extension of the room. Both doors can open outward in opposite directions so the car morphs into a pod or smaller room within the room, with the rotating seats providing extra seating. In addition, as an electric car that stores energy in the floor of the vehicle, the car can also serve as a backup power source for the home, providing power in an electrical outage, or supplementing with extra power during peak hours of power usage. Read more and see photos from Car and Driver.

 

Driverless bus taking passengers around site of 2012 London Olympics

Navya is debuting a self-driving bus in London this week, taking as many as 14 passengers at a time on a loop around the park that was the site of the 2012 Olympics. Though the buses are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, they will be capped at just 5 miles per hour while operating around Olympic Park. The entire loop around the park takes 12 minutes. Alistair Gordon, CEO of Keolis, the company that is supplying the buses, said the ride is proving to be very smooth and feels like “gliding.” “You’d never know there was no driver in the vehicle,” he told V3. So far, passengers are telling news outlets that they have enjoyed the ride and found it to be “the perfect way to try out an autonomous vehicle” at a slow speed in an environment they found much safer than being on the open road. Read more from V3.

Image: The interior of a Renault Symbioz car, inside a Renault Symbioz smart home. Credit: Renault

D20 Hits New High With Volvo AB as it Welcomes Autoliv to the Index

It was a banner week for the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20), which hit a new all-time high thanks to gainers like Volvo AB, while also welcoming a new stock into the mix.

This week the D20 welcomed Autoliv (NYSE:ALV) to the index. Autoliv replaces Mobileye (MBLY), which announced its purchase by Intel (INTC) on March 13, 2017 and completed the transaction in August.

Autoliv has 2016 revenues of $10 billion from the sale of passive and active automotive safety systems including components and systems required for driverless operation.  Autoliv (ALV) marked its debut in the D20 by adding 3 percent to its value as its stock price jumped from $106.07 to $109.27 a share.

The D20 overall ended the week at a new all-time high by rising 2.1 percent and closing at 226.56. Its third consecutive “up” week also beat the Dow, which managed a 0.8-percent gain, and the S&P 500, which climbed 1.4 percent to close at 2476.55.

D20’s leading price percentage gainer was the Swedish truck and heavy equipment manufacturer, Volvo AB (STO:VOLV-B). Its price jumped 6.7 percent to close at 145.60 SEK on news that its cost-cutting efforts and construction equipment sales growth drove a 58 percent surge in its first quarter earnings.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

Up-and-Comers:

Grab, Uber’s main rival in Southeast Asia, has announced that it has taken an investment from Toyota for an undisclosed amount. The investment comes from Toyota Tsusho, Toyota’s general trading company. There is a second element to the transaction in which Grab will share driving pattern data for 100 Toyota cars in Grab’s fleet that is collected by Toyota’s driving recorder, Translog. The large international automotive brands all seem to be buying into the ride-sharing industry. First, General Motors invested in Lyft. Volvo and Daimler Benz have partnered with Uber, and before Toyota’s investment, Honda had also invested in Grab.

Ford and Domino’s Team Up to Autonomously Deliver Pizza, Uber Promises Self-Driving Taxis in Toronto By the End of the Year, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

Ford and Domino’s team up to deliver pizzas in autonomous cars (sort of)

Ann Arbor, Michigan residents have a chance to get their pizza delivered in a driverless car–sort of. Domino’s teamed up with Ford Motor Co. for a special pilot program to test people’s reactions to receiving their pizza from a robot. However, though the car is fully capable of driving itself, a Ford engineer will still be behind the wheel, just in case. Customers who order pizza in Ann Arbor will be notified when their pizza has arrived and will have to go outside to meet the car and remove their pizza from a warming oven slot in the outside of the car. Both Ford and Domino’s want to gauge people’s reactions to the technology as well as to having to walk outside to get their pizza themselves, rather than have a delivery employee ring their doorbell. Ford said this is the first step toward many autonomous plans they hope to realize in the future, including robot taxis and delivering groceries via self-driving cars. Read more from Bloomberg News.

 

Tesla releases Autopilot update

Earlier this month, Tesla Motors released a new update to the Autopilot software, namely the “2017.32” update, to all vehicles equipped with the second-generation hardware. The sole new feature introduced was Automatic High Beams, which automatically switch back to low beams when oncoming traffic is detected. Other than that, the only changes with the update were general improvements to the Autopilot software. Founder and CEO Elon Musk famously announced in October that a new update would make all cars worldwide fully capable of driving themselves, but it appears that update is still coming. Reports have detailed clashes between Musk and his engineers over the announcement, claiming they were not told the announcement was coming and were unsure of the technology’s safety and reliability, particularly after a July 2016 crash in which a driver utilizing Autopilot was killed in a crash. It remains to be seen when Musk’s promise of a fully autonomous Tesla will come to fruition. Read more from Elektrek here and here, and read more from Inc. Magazine here.

 

Uber promises self-driving taxis in Toronto by the end of the year

Seemingly bouncing back from a hiatus following a crash involving one of their self-driving test cars in March, Uber is getting self-driving cars back on the roads of Toronto. The rollout is starting small with only two vehicles doing mapping and data gathering on the University of Toronto campus to improve efficiency and accuracy, but Uber promises the vehicles will be fully operational and able to pick up passengers by the end of this year. Read more and see a video from Complex Canada.

NVIDIA rebound lifts D20

After a down week last week NVIDIA (NVDA) returned to its winning ways, leading the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index to an unlikely rebound. Eight D20 price gainers overcame twelve price losers and forced the improbable bounce as the D20 added 1.3 points or 0.6 percent while both the Dow and S&P lost value.  With the markets jittery about the events in Charlottesville, the Dow dropped 183.81 points to close down 0.8 percent at 21674.51 and the S&P lost 0.6 percent and closed at 2425.55.

NVIDIA was the D20 percentage price gainer adding 3.6 percent to its stock value and closing at $161.50.  Last week’s sell-off despite good news about over achieving on quarterly earnings and sales seems to finally have reversed itself.  In other NVIDIA news, it has invested in Chinese autonomous trucking startup, TuSimple.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

Up and Comers:

Rumors are that Uber is close to naming GE’s ex-CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, to its recently vacated CEO position.  Uber has gone through a gauntlet of issues starting with sexual harassment accusations of a toxic work environment, to Waymo’s lawsuits claiming that Otto, which Uber acquired last summer, stole trade secrets, and now with a fired CEO founder, Travis Kalanick, and a Board of Directors in open dispute.  If Immelt takes the position he will have the fall-out of those issues and a competitor, Lyft, which has taken advantage of Uber’s public missteps to grow its market share from 15.2 percent last year to 22.9 percent in July, according to Second Measure.

Innoviz, Israeli start-up, has been selected by automotive supplier and D20 constituent, Delphi (DLPH), to be its LiDAR supplier. Delphi has recently declared a shift in focus emphasizing supplying the auto parts market with high tech and driverless solutions.

Tesla’s Tumultuous 2nd Quarter Tops D20, and Finally Some Positive News for Uber

An announcement from Tesla (TLSA) that it exceeded analysts’ estimates for second quarter revenue and earnings drove its stock price up 6 percent this week. That increase helped the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) eke out a 0.4-percent gain, even though price losers outnumbered gainers 12 to eight.

The D20 was outpaced by the Dow, which jumped 1.2 percent, but doubled up the S&P 500, which only gained 0.2 percent.

Tesla’s second quarter revenue was $2.79 billion with a non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) loss of $1.73, which beat the consensus estimates of $2.52 billion in revenue and an EPS loss of $1.88. The Tesla stock price rose from $335.07 to close the week at $356.91 per share.

Tesla’s futures are heavily hedged on the success of its Model 3 launch and early production figures. Tesla is betting that a reasonably priced but stylish, fully electric vehicle will get its sales volumes high enough so that it can start covering its administrative overhead and turn those EPS losses into gains.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

 

Up-and-Comers:

There is finally some good news for the beleaguered Uber, from its freight division. Uber Freight announced that it is adding new markets in California, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the Chicago-Midwest Region. It also announced that it has added personalized load-matching, which takes into account what types of loads a driver prefers and whether the route is local, short haul or long haul.

Despite Big Jump by Denso, D20 Takes a Small Dip

Despite a big jump for Japanese auto parts maker Denso, the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) took a small dip this past week, after enjoying three straight weeks of gains, rising 12 out of the past 14 weeks.

The D20 lost 2.85 points, or 1.3 percent, losing ground against the Dow, which gained 1.2 percent, and the S&P 500, which remained virtually unchanged.

The only D20 stock that moved significantly this week was Denso (DNZOY), which jumped 7.6 percent to close at $23.18 on rumors that when it reports quarterly earnings on Aug. 4, they will be above expectations.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

Up-and-Comers:

Here, the mapping company jointly owned  by Daimler, Audi, and BMW, is launching a real-time traffic service that pulls data from its joint owners’ vehicles. Here, which started as a division of phone maker Nokia, was spun out and sold to a joint venture of the three German automakers. 

Momenta, a Chinese-based new entrant to the driverless car software market, recently raised $46 million in a series B venture funding. One of the funders was Daimler, which seems to have accelerated its driverless efforts recently.

News Roundup: Much Ado About Tesla Motors, Elon Musk

Jennifer van der Kleut

It’s been a week of big news surrounding Tesla Motors Inc. — both the cars themselves, as well as the company’s famous inventor and CEO, Elon Musk.

First, last week, Musk tweeted what he called an exciting announcement, claiming that had received “verbal government approval” for his company, The Boring Company, to design and build an underground train and network of tunnels that would carry vehicles at high speeds between New York City and Washington, D.C. in an unbelievable 29 minutes, with stops possible in other locations like Philadelphia and Boston.

The reports have been disputed, though some government officials have said “positive conversations” did take place.

This week, Musk showed off early testing of the concept of the tunnel. He explained that it begins with a car being loaded onto an “elevator” at a “collection point,” which is then lowered into the tunnel on a type of “sled on wheels,” capable of transporting the cars through a network of tunnels at high speeds.

In other Tesla news, it was announced today that the forthcoming Model 3 has once again landed itself the top spot as Consumer Reports magazine’s top-rated luxury sedan. This came about after Tesla promised that automatic emergency braking would be standard in all cars, and would work at highway speeds as well as lower speeds.

Deliveries of the Model 3 will reportedly begin rolling out this week to customers who pre-ordered the car. Priced competitively at $35,000, buyers in California will again be able to take advantage of federal tax credits and rebates that could bring the price down to around $25,000.

Of course, Musk reports that the company is still fervently working on self-driving cars as well.

Image of Model 3 by Tesla Motors

News Roundup: GM Opens Network to Infotainment App Developers, Lyft Announces Plans for Its Own Self-Driving Car Division in Palo Alto, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

A look at major headlines to come out of the driverless and connected car industries over the past week:

GM opens network, allows app developers to test infotainment apps in real vehicle environment

General Motors (GM) has announced a move to make it easier for app developers to test their infotainment apps in a real test vehicle environment. GM announced that it is offering up its next-generation infotainment software development kit–NGI SDK–to the general development community. This will give developers access to GM’s Dev Client, and allow them to test their creations in a real-life test vehicle early in the process, which GM claims is the first time an automaker has done so. Mashable explains, once a developer is ready to make something, “they can download the new SDK, which has been available since January, to build out their app and begin emulating the in-car environment to kick things off.” GM says the open developers network is ready and open for new applicants. Read more from Mashable.

 

Lyft forms autonomous vehicle division in Palo Alto, California

Ride-hailing app Lyft announced it is setting up its own division dedicated to self-driving cars in Palo Alto, California. Reports indicate Lyft will focus on developing its own software network, including a navigation system, with plans to open up the network to the general public, allowing other tech companies and automakers to use the network, and potentially even share data. Industry analysts believe Lyft will likely monetize the program by taking a cut of ride-sharing fees collected by companies using their network. A Lyft spokesperson said a big motivation for the move is to help bring the environmental and safety benefits of autonomous vehicles to the world sooner. Read more from SFGate.

 

Microsoft joins Baidu’s driverless-car alliance, ‘Project Apollo’

Chinese tech giant Baidu and Microsoft have announced that they will be working together on driverless cars. Microsoft has reportedly joined Baidu’s Project Apollo. “Our goal with Apollo is to provide an open and powerful platform to the automotive industry to further the goal of autonomous vehicles,” said the president of Baidu, Zhang Yaqin, in news reports. Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, will reportedly be “instrumental” in the Apollo initiative. As much as 50 other famous firms and automakers, including Ford, Daimler, 13 car manufacturers from China, and many ride-sharing operators, component providers and suppliers have also announced plans to join Project Apollo. Read more from Investor NewsWire.

Image by Lyft

Led by NVIDIA, D20 Leaps to Record High

In a nearly across the board sweep, nineteen price gainers and one unchanged stock drove the D20 to new heights this week.  The D20 jumped 5.2 percent, closing at a record high of 223.51.  The D20 easily outpaced the Dow, which gained 1 percent and the S&P 500 which added 1.4 percent and closed at 2459.27.

As the D20’s leading price percentage gainer this week, NVIDIA (NVDA) continues to hit new records and stun the market with its meteoric price rise.  Its partnership with Baidu continues to enchant the market causing its price to rise 12.4 percent this week and closing at $164.95 per share.  Because of its staggering share price run, gaining 625 percent since August 2015, NVIDIA is now 24% of the total value of the D20.  This week’s 12.4 percent gain accounted for the more than half of the D20’s 5.2 percent increase.

The lone non-gainer of the week was Nissan (NSANY).  It remained unchanged at $20.23 per share.

Visit the Driverless Transportation D20 Stock Index page to learn more about it and its component stocks.

Up and Comers:

Cortica, founded in Israel, is building AI systems based on analysis of how human and animal cortical networks process natural stimuli.   Cortica is now applying those AI methods to “teach” autonomous vehicles with unsupervised learning.