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Aptiv Finalizes Spin-Off From Delphi, Joins D20 Stock Index

Delphi Automotive (old DLPH) finalized its spin out of Delphi Technologies PLC, the powertrain portion of its business this week, becoming the newest constituent of the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20).  It then renamed the balance of its business as Aptiv, which will focus on three segments: Electrical / Electronic Architecture, Electronics, and Safety.

For every three shares of Delphi Automotive PLC that were held on Nov. 22, shareholders received one share of the new Delphi Technologies PLC. The new company will trade on the NYSE under the old symbol of DLPH. The balance of the company, under the new name Aptiv, will trade on the NYSE under the symbol APTV.

The D20 will add APTV and drop DLPH, because Aptiv focuses on connected driving and driverless technology components. Aptiv will retain the recent acquisitions nuTonomy and Movimento, which bolster its push into driverless technology.

All this spinout activity didn’t help the D20, though. The index had 14 price losers, and lost 1.8 percent of its value, closing at 252.14.

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

Up-and-Comers: 

Lyft’s driverless pilot in Boston has begun its rollout with nuTonomy’s technology powering it.  After a June announcement, Uber’s primary competition in the U.S. has recently begun providing driverless ride service to some Lyft patrons in Boston’s Seaport area. New D20 constituent, Aptiv, purchased nuTonomy for $400 million in October while it was still part of Delphi Automotive.

Image: Aptiv car / Credit: Aptiv

Volvo is the D20’s Bright Spot This Week, As Orders For New Trucks Surge

Though Volvo AB announced promising quarterly earnings and both the Dow and S&P 500 hit new highs, the D20 Stock Index lost ground this week.

Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index reached all-time highs this week.  The Dow did so in spectacular fashion, broaching the 23,000 mark for the first time and adding 2 percent to its value while closing the week at 23,328.63.  The S&P 500 Index gained 0.9 percent and finished at 2,575.21, a new record as well.

With only six price gainers and 14 price losers, the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) lost 0.4 percent of its value, closing down 1.1 points at 255.26.  The last week the D20 lost ground while both the Dow and S&P 500 stayed even or rose was the week ending July 28, 2017.

One bright spot for the D20 was Volvo AB (STO: VOLV-B), whose announced quarterly earnings beat market profit expectations as orders for its trucks surged. Shares prices for Volvo AB, which are traded on the Stockholm exchange in SEK, jumped from 155.5 to 165.9, a 6.7-percent increase.

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

Up-and-Comers:

Lyft continues to make positive headlines, as Alphabet–the parent company of Google and Waymo–announced it is leading a $1-billion investment round in Lyft. Lyft continues to trail Uber in both market share and valuation, but not in positive press. Uber and Waymo are currently litigating over trade secrets allegedly stolen by a former Waymo employee who later joined Uber.

NVIDIA Loss Leads to D20 Drop

Even though price gainers outnumbered price losers 11 to nine, a 4-percent drop by NVIDIA (NVDA) led to an overall drop for the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) this week.

The D20 stepped back from an all-time high after three consecutive weeks of gains by losing 0.2 percent of its value, closing at 226.18. The Dow and S&P 500 followed suit by losing ground as well. The Dow lost 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 gave back 0.6 percent to close at 2461.43.

NVIDIA’s 4-percent share price drop was the primary reason the D20 lost ground this week.  Now at 23.7 percent of the D20’s total value due to its 560-percent rise over the past 18 months, NVIDIA lost $6.77 per share and closed at $163.69 this week.  Even small movements in NVIDIA’s share price seem to move the D20 value considerably.

Daimler AG (DDAIF), the parent of Mercedes-Benz, was the D20’s price percentage gain leader this week. Its share price jumped 6.1 percent as rumors swirled that it is considering a structural organization change that would separate its truck and bus unit.

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

Up-and-Comers:

LiDAR maker Innoviz has secured a $65-million Series B investment, led by D20 components Delphi Automotive (DLPH) and Magna International (MGA). The money will reportedly be used to prepare for large-scale production planned for 2019.  Innoviz’s LiDAR designs use solid-state components and no moving parts, which should make their systems less costly and more reliable than current systems on the market from companies like Velodyne.

Lyft and Drive.ai have teamed up for a pilot of self-driving cars in San Francisco. Founded in 2015, Drive.ai is a Bay Area-based developer of artificial intelligence software for driverless vehicles that uses deep learning algorithms.

Legal Victory for Renesas Leads D20 Stock Index to Gain

A legal victory for Renesas Electronics led the way as 11 propelled the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock (D20) up this past week.

The D20 gained 1.64 points to close at 224.97, beating the Dow, which lost 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500, which rose 0.5 percent and closed the week at 2472.54.

Renesas Electronics Corp. (TSE:6723) gained 7.6 percent to close at ¥1090 per share.  Renesas announced that it won a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Zond LLC, and that it has developed a kit for its R-Car system that supports cocoro SB’s “Emotion Engine.”

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

Up-and-Comers:

Lyft is launching a driverless division.  It announced that it just signed a lease for a large facility in Palo Alto and expects to hire hundreds of people to fill it. Lyft will continue to work with its major investor, General Motors and partners Waymo, JLR and Nutonomy.

Driverless truck startup, Embark, has raised $15 million in an initial round of funding. Its funding announcement coincides with an announcement of a partnership with heavy truck manufacturer, Peterbilt.  Embark has prototyped its neural, net-based deep learning approach on a Peterbilt 579 Truck.

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

Renesas Helps Push D20 to Eighth Straight Gain, New All-Time High

Though 14 of its stocks fell, a stellar week from big names like Renesas Electronics, NVIDIA, Tesla Motors, Mobileye and Volvo led the D20 Stock Index to a gain for the eighth straight week in a row.

The D20 gained 0.2 percent overall to close the week at a new record high of 215.15.

The D20 outgained the S&P 500, which lost 0.3 percent, but couldn’t quite match the Dow, which rose 0.3 percent and closed at 21271.97.

The D20 is up 22 percent since January 1, while the Dow is up only 7 percent and the S&P 500 has risen 8 percent.

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

 

Up-and-Comers:

Lyft not only received $25 million in recent funding from Jaguar Land Rover as a part of a very large $600-million investment round, but it also received a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles as part of the deal. Lyft is seemingly capitalizing on competitor Uber’s very public missteps.

News Roundup: China’s New Driverless Transit Doesn’t Need Tracks, Trump Administration Addresses Driverless Vehicle Guidelines, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

A roundup of some of the most interesting driverless industry headlines of the past week:

China shows off new train-bus-tram hybrid that doesn’t even need tracks

Rail transit firm CRRC recently showed off the future of transportation for China. It’s called a “smart bus,” but the industry is describing it as a train-bus-tram hybrid that doesn’t even need tracks. The smart bus can navigate itself without a driver, and needs only lines painted on the ground–no tracks necessary. The prototype vehicle is 32 meters long and can hold a whopping 307 passengers over three connected rail cars, and engineers say rail cars can be added or subtracted as needed. The vehicle can travel at speeds of up to 70km (43.5 miles) per hour and can go a distance of up to 25km (15.53 miles) after charging its lithium battery for just 10 minutes. The official name of the system will be called ART – short for Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit — and government officials say it will debut on a 6.5-km track painted through the city of Zhuzhou beginning in 2018. Officials say it will bring down the costs of public transportation from more than $100 million per km for the existing subway system, to just over $2 million per km for an ART line. Read more from Mashable.

 

Trump administration promises new driverless guidelines by end of year

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao met with automakers in Detroit Monday and spoke briefly about the Trump administration’s plans for driverless cars. Chao promised a revised set of guidelines, different from those released near the end of former President Obama’s second term in September, by the end of this year. Many expect guidelines under President Trump to have a “lighter touch.” Chao pointed to cases such as California, where the number of companies testing the technology is up from just four in 2014 to 30 today, seemingly as proof that looser regulations are helping the technology to progress faster. However, Chao addressed Silicon Valley directly and encouraged more companies to be willing to share data, to help the government learn more about the technology as they work to create the best guidelines for the country. Read more from The Detroit News and The Hill.

 

Lyft adds Boston-based nuTonomy to its list of high-profile driverless car partners

Not long after just announcing a driverless car partnership with Google’s Waymo, ridesharing company Lyft has announced another lucrative project, this time with Boston-based tech firm nuTonomy, for another pilot project. The project will reportedly kick off in the coming months and the first item on its to-do list will be “R&D into the passenger experience,” Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green reportedly said in a conference call. Green added, if all goes well, the partnership “could lead to thousands of nuTonomy cars on the Lyft platform.” nuTonomy is known for piloting the world’s first driverless car ridesharing program in Singapore, and recently started testing driverless cars in Boston, where the company is based. Read more from Forbes.

 

Image: Still of Chinese ART rail car from YouTube video by CGTN

News Roundup: Uber Self-Driving Car Arm Nearly Shut Down, New Partnerships For Delphi, Waymo, Lyft, BMW and Intel

Jennifer van der Kleut

A roundup of recent headlines to come out of the driverless and connected-car industry this week:

Google’s Waymo teams up with Lyft

Google’s driverless company, Waymo, announced it is teaming up with ride-hailing company Lyft to develop self-driving car technology. The two companies have agreed to work together on “pilot projects” with the aim of bringing driverless vehicles into the mainstream. Working with Waymo will give Lyft access to loads of data, and working with Lyft will allow Waymo to expand its testing and open doors to new areas. Read more from The Telegraph.

 

Uber narrowly avoids shut-down of self-driving car work over lawsuit

A federal judge stopped just short of shutting down Uber’s self-driving car operations due to Waymo’s lawsuit against the company for allegedly stealing its technology. Instead, the judge has banned Anthony Levandowski from having anything to do with Uber’s self-driving car work. Levandowski used to be the head of Google’s self-driving car division (later spun off into the separate company called Waymo) until he left for a similar job at Uber. Waymo alleged Levandowski stole the company’s technology secrets and took them to Uber. A federal judge this week barred Levandowski from working on Uber’s self-driving car technology. The move is likely to cause significant delays in Uber’s progress toward developing its own fleet of autonomous cars. Read more from the New York Times.

 

Delphi partners up with BMW and Intel

Delphi has announced that it is joining into a partnership with BMW and Intel to develop self-driving technology. In particular, the three companies said they will be collaborating on “perception, sensor fusion and high-performance automated driving computing.” In addition, an executive from BMW said other companies could be joining the multi-company partnership very soon. Delphi is seen as being very lucrative to the partnership because of the company’s expertise in “data analysis and electrical architecture,” which are viewed as critical to the development of autonomous cars. Read more from USA Today.

 

Volkswagen Shakes Off Diesel-Gate, Powers Big D20 Rebound

After two consecutive weeks down, and losing more than 4 percent of its value, the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) roared back into the black this past week, largely led by Volkswagen.

Eighteen price gainers, compared to only two price losers, guaranteed the D20 a lift.  The D20 rebounded to 190.49, adding 3.3 percent and easily beating both the Dow and S&P 500.

The Dow crept up 0.5 percent to close at 20547.76, while the S&P 500 climbed 0.8 percent to end the week at 2348.69.

Ahead of the expected Volkswagen earnings announcement on April 28, several analysts have upgraded their price targets for the Germany-based automaker. Other indicators are pointing up for the beleaguered automaker as Volkswagen finally appears to be emerging from the self-inflicted cloud of Diesel-gate. Volkswagen jumped $2.29 per share last week to close just below $30 a share at $29.99. This 8.3-percent price jump led all D20 stocks for the week.

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

Up-and-Comers:

Uber and Lyft are being sued for patent infringement by a holding company called Hailo Technologies, LLC. This particular Hailo is not the ride-hailing business by the same name that Daimler purchased in 2016 — it is a U.S.–based company that owns a U.S. patent issued in 1999 that describes a system that dispatches vehicles for rides and incorporates a payment system.

How Do You Buy a Million Cars When You Can’t Make a Dime?

Burney Simpson

The summer of 2016 is proving a topsy-turvy time for driverless industry as headwinds buffet ridesharing technology firms Uber and Lyft and auto OEMs foresee fully autonomous vehicles in a few years.

Isn’t this supposed to be a quiet time for business? Take a breather, sit by the water, and eat some Michigan cherry burgers.

Not in transportation technology.

For instance, Ford announced it was working to launch fully autonomous automobiles by 2021. BMW, Intel and Mobileye joined to say they will have vehicles in production for the same target date. Ridesharing titan Uber says it will launch this month driverless vehicles in Pittsburgh, though some employees will be in the car to ensure safety.

Forget the 10 years down the road baloney. We’ll be Level 4 Autonomous in three to five years.

Yet for all the excitement there’s been some downer news.

A number of outlets reported that Lyft was seeking a buyer, despite the $500 million that GM pumped into it earlier this year. (Lyft later denied the buyer story, blaming it on archrival Uber). Earlier this year Lyft pledged to its investors to keep its U.S. losses under $50 million a month.

And Bloomberg reported that Uber told its investors it lost $520 million in the first quarter, and more than $750 million in the second. This after losing about $2 billion in 2015. That must have played a part in Uber’s decision to sell its China operations to competitor Didi Chuxing.

SHAKY FOUNDATIONS

It’s valuable to keep in mind the shaky foundations of Uber and Lyft because the two have been touted as an important foundation for the growth of autonomous vehicles.

Supposedly car owners are going to shift to ridesharing to get around, abandon their cars, and start trying out all kinds of shared transportation options. That means mass transit, bike share, car share, semi-customized bus lines, even walking for crying out loud.

No more Single Occupancy Vehicles. American commuters unite. You have nothing to lose but your fat guts and bubbly butts.

The theory is that Uber, Lyft and other transportation providers will buy hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of autonomous vehicles from BMW, GM, Ford, etc.

They’ll phase out their human drivers, the most expensive part of their operations, and offer driverless vehicles that get you to work. For the ride home you’ll be allowed to drink and not drive. Just in time for legal marijuana baby!

Moovel2But if these guys can’t make money now, how do they buy/lease a million high-tech autonomous cars? Does Uber go back to investors like Goldman Sachs and Benchmark Capital for another $16 billion? It sounds like investors have told Lyft to stop the losses, despite whatever it denies.

Look, there’s been some great news for the ride sharers too. Lyft provided nearly 14 million rides in July, while Uber churned out 62 million.

Lyft President John Zimmer told Business Insider his company is on its way to providing $2 billion worth of rides. Uber, valued at $69 billion, will use the $1 billion it received from Didi to get out of China to grow in Southeast Asia or battle Lyft in the U.S.

But consider this – investors can be fickle, as proven by several tech bubbles already this century; Lehman Brothers is just the latest giant to have a huge valuation before it crumbled; and the stock market is hitting record levels.

Transportation technology offers an intriguing mix of glamour and grease that the VC geniuses love. For the rest of us it’s vital to see through the glamourous front so we don’t slip on the grease.

Graphics from Ford, Car2Go.