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.



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.

Tesla Leads the D20 to Seventh Consecutive Weekly Gain

Nineteen price gainers, led largely by Tesla Motors, and only one loser helped the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) to a seventh consecutive weekly gain.

The D20 topped the Dow and the S&P again this week by gaining 2.2 percent and closing at 214.80.  The Dow inched up 0.6 percent while the S&P 500 index rose by 1 percent to close at 2439.07.

In the last seven weeks, the D20 has added 14.6 percent to its value while the Dow has gained only 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 only 3.5 percent.

Although Tesla (TSLA) was the leading D20 percentage price gainer at 4.5 percent, the gains were well distributed as six other stocks were also up by more than 3 percent for the week. Tesla’s Elon Musk made headlines this week by quitting Trump’s Economic Council after the U.S. president made the decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.

The sole D20 price loser this week was Mobileye (MBLY). It announced first quarter 2017 earnings on June 1 that seemed to spawn some profit-taking. Mobileye lost only $0.02 a share to close the week down 0.03 percent at $61.78.

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



Embattled Uber has fired its head of autonomous driving, Anthony Levandowski.  Levandowski helped embroil Uber and Waymo, Google’s driverless unit, in a lawsuit as he was accused of taking thousands of documents as he left Waymo to form Otto, which was later purchased by Uber for more than $700 million.

Uber’s fortunes need a lift, as its troubles continue.  It announced a $708 million loss for the first quarter of 2017 and the resignation of its head of finance, Gautam Gupta, to join another Silicon Valley start-up.

Blackberry Surge Leads a D20 Stock Index Rebound

Blackberry’s (BBRY) announcement of its sixth consecutive quarter beating analysts’ expectations helped the Driverless Transportation’s Weekly Stock Index (D20) rebound from a slight loss the previous week.  Blackberry was the D20’s leading price percentage gainer as it gained 9.6 percent and closed the week at $7.75 a share.

Blackberry continues to focus its business on software development as it sheds pieces of its iconic but aging and dwindling mobile phone handset business.  One of the cornerstones of that software business strategy is its QNX system, a vehicle automation platform that its partner Ford (F) is using to further its driverless vehicle efforts.

Ford reinforced its dedication to creating driverless vehicles last week by hiring 400 engineers for its newly created Research and Engineering Centre in Ottawa, Canada.  Many of those engineers came to Ford directly from Blackberry, furthering the partnership between the two D20 constituents.

Fifteen price-gaining stocks countered the effects of five price losers and pushed the D20 to a 1.2-percent jump, allowing it to close the week at 192.70. The D20 outgained the Dow, which added 0.3 percent to its value, and the S&P 500, which closed at 2362.72, up 0.8 percent.

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



NIO, a Chinese-backed startup previously known as NextEV, has announced that it will offer a driverless electric car in the U.S. by 2020.  Its U.S. CEO, Padasree Warrior, announced that D20 members Mobileye (MBLY) and NVIDIA (NVDA) will join them as key partners.


News Roundup: BMW to Release Car With 3 Levels of Autonomy in 2021, Dubai Developer Orders 25 Driverless Vehicles to Drive Its Residents Around, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

A roundup of some of the biggest headlines to come out of the driverless and connected-car worlds over the past week:

BMW announces intent to release Level 3, 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles in 2021

BMW’s senior vice president of autonomous driving announced this week that the automaker will be releasing its “i” model in 2021, and that it will be Level-5 autonomous, meaning it will be capable of operating in any situation or condition without human assistance. The company said the 2021 model will be capable of three varying levels of autonomy — Levels 3, 4 and 5. BMW recently partnered with Intel and Mobileye (and, we just learned, Intel is in the process of acquiring Mobileye) to develop autonomous systems. BMW said the car will be inspired by the Vision Next 100 concept car it unveiled last year, which implies the car will most likely be a standalone creation rather than an upgraded version of one of its current models. Read more from Reuters and the Normangee Star.


Australian university wants you to name its new fully-autonomous bus

Australia’s Curtin University has built its own fully autonomous shuttle bus, and has launched an online contest to name it. The shuttle is 100-percent electric and can carry up to 11 passengers. It can travel at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour and finds its way through input digital programming, GPS navigation and and remote sensors. Though a “chaperone” currently rides in the bus to monitor things and can take over the controls manually if needed, Curtin University representatives say it is fully capable of operating without a driver. Beginning at the end of March, the bus will begin a regular route on the Curtin campus, transporting people between buildings. Read more and see a video of the shuttle bus on Curtin University’s website.


Dubai developer purchases 25 autonomous vehicles

Dubai-based developer Meraas has awarded a contract to 2getthere, out of the Netherlands, to build 25 driverless vehicles to transport passengers around its Bluewater Islands development. The group rapid transit vehicles (GRTs) will each carry 24 passengers, and will be used to transport passengers 2.5 km each way between the development, the harbor and the Metro station. Representatives say they expect the GRTs will be capable of transporting between 3,ooo to 5,000 people per hour between the three high-traffic spots. Similar 2getthere vehicles are already being used to make similar trips in Abu Dhabi and the Netherlands. Read more from MEED.

Photo: Curtin University autonomous shuttle, courtesy photo

Intel’s Offer to Buy Mobileye Launches the D20 Stock Index Past 190

With a 28-percent jump in its stock price due to Intel’s (INTC) offer to buy it for $15 billion, Mobileye (MBLY) led the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) to its first ever closing value over 190.

With 15 stock price gainers and only five losers, the D20 jumped 4.3 percent, or 7.84 points, to close at 191.33, a record high.

With the Mobileye purchase offer, Intel seems to be playing catch-up in the driverless space, countering Qualcomm’s purchase of NXP Semiconductors.

In Mobileye, Intel is buying a software business that, according to software industry analyst IHS, currently owns about 70 percent of the world market for driver-assistance systems, including automatic braking, pedestrian detection and lane centering. Mobileye has commercial relationships with 23 automakers, including BMW and Ford.

After the Board of Directors of both companies approve the transaction and Mobileye disappears as a separate entity, we at Driverless Transportation will have to select a publically-traded replacement company for the D20. We need your suggestions in the comments!

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



Lucid Motors has announced a price for its Lucid Air entry-level model that debuted in December of 2016. Although they have not set an availability date, they are taking deposits for the $60,000 entry-level version, which doesn’t include an estimated $7,500 federal rebate for electric vehicles.  The entry-level version will include standard options like a 240-mile range, 400 horsepower, and all the hardware necessary for autonomous driving.

News Roundup: California DMV’s New Proposed Driverless Car Regulations, How Alexa and Cortana May Soon Take Over Your Car, and More

Jennifer van der Kleut

A roundup of some of the biggest headlines to come out of the driverless and connected-car industries over the past week:

Many applaud California DMV’s newly proposed regulations for testing driverless cars

This past Friday, March 10, the California Department of Motor Vehicles released new proposed regulations for the testing of driverless cars in public, which look remarkably like laws recently passed in Michigan. Many are applauding all the changes made since releasing a significantly stricter version back in September. DMV reps say they listened closely to a wealth of feedback from stakeholders after the September draft and implemented many of them. In particular, the new regulations reverse their previous requirements that driverless test cars must have a human driver in the car while testing in public, and that prototype vehicles must include a steering wheel and pedals (which reportedly made Google/Waymo executives very happy). However, if the vehicle does not include those conventional features, the manufacturer must show the DMV they have approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A mandatory 45-day comment period is currently in effect, ending April 24, after which a public hearing will take place. DMV representatives said they hope the regulations will officially go into effect by the end of the year. Read more from Bloomberg Technology.


Automakers turn to personal assistance tech like Cortana, Alexa to develop better connected-car voice commands

While systems like Ford’s Sync are already appearing in cars on the market today, many industry analysts say the technology still contains many flaws, with limited available commands and continuous voice recognition difficulties. As connected-car technology becomes more and more in demand, automakers like Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan are turning to personal assistant apps like Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana to improve in-car voice command systems. VW announced they are trying to combine Alexa with their Car-Net system and apps so that, while driving, you can ask Alexa to do things like add items to your ongoing shopping list that is synced between your car and your personal device. Reps say you’ll even be able to ask Alexa through your Amazon Echo at home to tell you how much gas your car has in it. Ford said it is integrating Alexa into its current Sync system, with some paired features debuting this summer. Nissan said they are partnering with Microsoft, but have not announced a launch date yet. Read more from CAR magazine.


Whoa! Intel buys Mobileye for more than $15 billion

In the biggest acquisition of an Israeli tech company to date, Intel announced this week that is acquiring Mobileye for an astounding $15.3 billion, after partnering with them since late last year. Mobileye is known for its computer vision systems for autonomous cars, including sensor fusion, mapping and front- and rear-facing camera technology. They are also working on crowdsourcing data for high-definition maps, as well as getting involved in policies and regulations surrounding autonomous driving. Intel has been getting involved with driverless technology as of late, most recently partnering with Mobileye and BMW and pledging $250 million to invest in the technology, particularly how much data autonomous cars can generate. The sale of Mobileye to Intel is expected to take about nine months to close. Read more from TechCrunch.

D20 Stock Index Closes Out 2016 With a Slight Dip

The Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) retreated from an all-time high and three consecutive weeks of gains by dropping 2.41 points, or 1.4 percent, to close the week (and the year) at 174.04.

Fourteen price losers and only six price gainers ensured that the D20 followed the Dow, which slumped 0.9 percent, and the S&P 500, which fell 1.1 percent.

Mobileye (MBLY) had a great week, closing the year by announcing that it had partnered with HERE to provided crowd-sourced High Definition (HD) mapping.  Its stock rose 9.73 percent to close at $38.12.  Audi, Mercedes and BMW purchased HERE, a detailed mapping data provider, from Nokia in early 2016.

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


Automile, a Palo Alto-based startup, has secured $7.5 million in Series A funding to build out and expand its fleet logistics and management business.  It is a telematics play allowing fleet managers to easily install a device under the dash to report back mileage logs, trip statistics, real-time location tracking and accident alerts, as well as plan predictive maintenance.

D20 constituent company, Magna (MGA) has teamed up with LiDAR-maker Innoviz to complete its suite of sensing technologies for driverless vehicle systems.  Innoviz is developing a solid-state LiDAR system that has a target cost of $100 per unit and a small physical footprint.  Magna is a key Tier 1 supplier to almost every major automaker.

Delphi, Magna International Help D20 Reach Lifetime Record High

With both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index hitting all-time highs this week, the Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) had a high bar to overcome.

Both indexes gained 3.1 percent for the week with the Dow ending at 19756.85 and the S&P closing at 2259.53.  Two price losers could not hold back 18 gainers for the D20 as the index jumped 5.6 percent to close at a lifetime high record of 172.57.

Notable gainers were traditional automotive parts manufacturer, Delphi Automotive (DLPH), which added a whopping 12.2 percent to close at $71.52; and Canada’s Magna International (MGA), which jumped 11.5 percent to end the week at $46.93.

The only two D20 losers were the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD Company (BYDDY), which lost 3.9 percent, and the Israeli driverless technology firm, Mobileye (MBLY), which lost 1.7 percent.

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


Uber has acquired Geometric Intelligence to bolster its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.  Geometric Intelligence is a start-up founded by academic researchers with AI experience who have been focusing on solving object and situation recognition problems with less than the normal amount of data available.

Blackmore Sensors and Analytics of Bozeman, Montana has raised $3.5M in a Series A Round to take their LIDAR technology, developed for the military and other industrial uses, and adapt it to the driverless vehicle market.  Blackmore’s LIDAR design uses frequency modulation versus the amplitude modulation strategy that most systems use for driverless vehicles.  Everyone knows that on the radio, FM has higher sound quality than AM, and it’s a similar improvement that Blackmore is aiming for.

NVIDIA Steps Back, and the D20 Takes a Dive

Eight price gainers couldn’t undo the damage that 12 losers inflicted on The Driverless Transportation Weekly Stock Index (D20) this week.

The D20 lost 2.1 percent, falling to 163.43, as the Dow edged up 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 lost 1 percent.

NVIDIA (NVDA) took a rare large step backward this week, losing 6 percent of its value and closing at $88.45. It had to happen sooner or later, because the stock has been on a tear.  Since Oct. 14th’s close at $65.99, NVIDIA’s stock price rose to a peak of $94.16 on Nov. 25th, a 43-percent price gain in only six weeks.

Other key losers were Tesla (TSLA), which lost 7.7 percent, and Mobileye (MBLY), which dropped 6.8 percent.

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



A new electric car company called Lucid Motors has announced that it will begin building its manufacturing center in Casa Grande, Arizona in 2017.  Their first car, a four-door sedan, is targeted for production in 2018.

Starship Technologies’ autonomous delivery robots have scored another partner, JustEat.  JustEat is using the small six-wheeled autonomous delivery vehicles in the Greenwich section of London to deliver take-out.

News Roundup: Hyundai Quietly Debuts New Self-Driving Ioniq, Intel Invests Millions in Autonomous Car Technology, and More

A quick look at headlines from around the driverless and connected-car industries this week:

Intel to partner with BMW and Mobileye, invest millions in autonomous car technology

Intel Corp. announced this week that it plans to invest more than $250 million over the next two years to develop fully autonomous driving technology. The longtime chip-maker plans to collaborate with BMW and Mobileye to develop the technology. When asked why they decided to get involved in autonomous car technology, CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is particularly interested in the amount of data each autonomous car can generate, which they estimate to be at least 4 TB per car. Read more about Intel’s announcement on


Hyundai quietly debuts new autonomous Ioniq

Hyundai surprised a lot of people by putting the brand-new autonomous version of its Ioniq car on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show recently with no fanfare. The new Ioniq reportedly looks identical to the all-electric version of the sedan and utilizes a lidar system with three advanced radars combined with three forward-facing cameras, blind-spot sensors, GPS antenna and “smart cruise” radar. Hyundai said it will offer rides in the self-driving Ioniq at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in January. Read more from The Detroit News.


Budapest’s AImotive expands autonomous car technology business to U.S.

AImotive, started in Budapest, is expanding its reach to the U.S., having recently opened an office in Mountain View, California, and potentially eyeing other locations across the country. AImotive is working on tech solutions to help automakers enable Level 5 autonomy, the highest level. The company’s aiDrive software allows vehicles to learn to identify objects, tap into landmark-based location-recognition protocols, and engage in real-time tracking and control of the gas, break, horn, and headlights. Read more about AImotive on Business Journal.