The “smart” revolution is all around us, as a growing number of common items are becoming highly technological. It happened with the telephone, it happened with TV, it happened in numerous fields of industry – and now it’s happening in the automotive industry. Self-driving cars are very much a reality, and we will be seeing them in rising numbers on the road within the next few years. This evolution of the personal car, which over the years incorporated more and more technology into it, has resulted in a vehicle that no longer needs a human driver – and the financial potential is incredible.
The driverless car will be one of the most tech-heavy products available to consumers, and as such, will combine numerous components from both automakers and high-tech companies. To learn more about the different aspects of the autonomous car industry, projected to become a $7 trillion market(1) eventually, read this blog post.
Being such an innovative field on the one hand, yet being developed by some of the world’s largest, and most recognizable, companies on the other, the driverless car industry presents an interesting thematic investment opportunity. However, since it involves companies from different industries, operating in various markets around the world, building a thematic investment portfolio to track the industry can be challenging. That is why, here at eToro, we are launching the Driverless investment strategy, through which the members of the eToro community can invest in this sector.
The Driverless CopyPortfolio: Composition
This managed portfolio strategy contains an array of global companies, ranging from automakers, through hardware manufacturers, to software companies developing computer vision, navigation systems and other solutions relevant to the sector. The companies span several industries and have an overall impressive global presence – and are all part of the trend that will make driverless cars a common part of our daily lives in the coming years:
- Tesla (TSLA) – Elon Musk’s electric car company has established itself as one of the most intriguing players in both the tech and automotive industries in the US. The company is developing driverless cars and trucks and is one of the pioneers in automotive innovation.
- Fiat Chrysler (FCA.MI) – One of the largest automotive corporation in the world, Fiat Chrysler has a strong presence in both the North American and European automobile markets, and is working on its own self-driving car.
- Toyota (TM) – The world’s largest automakers, Japanese Toyota is known to be a highly reliable carmaker, have a strong international presence, and pioneering innovative technologies, such as one of the world’s first mass-produced hybrid personal cars.
- Honda (HMC) – Another Japanese carmaker, Honda’s name has also become synonymous with quality, for both family cars and high-end sports cars and luxury sedans. Honda is also working on a driverless car, declaring 2025 as the target year for a nearly fully-autonomous vehicle.
- Ford (F) – The world’s first automotive company is still one of the most influential carmakers out there. The company has announced plans for robot cars for ride-hailing and delivery purposes and will be testing them in Miami in the near future.
- Renault (RNO.PA) – The French car giant has taken great strides in the autonomous car department: Its Symbioz concept model has generated positive reviews, both for its extremely advanced artificial-intelligence-assisted driving and its innovative approach of including the smart car as an integral part of the smart home of the future, positioning it as a notable player in the industry.
- BMW (BMW.DE) – The German luxury car maker is a prominent player in driver-assistance technology, such as self-parking systems, which exist in some of its high-end brands. Therefore, it is no wonder that the company has been very public about its plans for creating a completely autonomous vehicle in the future.
- Volkswagen (VOW3.DE) – Pledging to add electric motors to all of its models by 2030(2), this German giant is also researching completely autonomous cars. The VW I.D. Vizzion concept model unveiled by the company is a fully self-driving car, that doesn’t even have a steering wheel or pedals – it is designed to do all of the driving for the passenger.
- General Motors (GM) – The largest car manufacturer in the US, GM is no stranger to innovation. In the early 1990s, GM completed the development of the world’s first serial electric car, the EV1. Despite later being pulled from production, GM has proved that it is ready for big changes in serial manufacturing – a quality that will serve it well when the market tilts towards the driverless.
- Tata Motors (TTM) – India’s largest car manufacturer, which is part of a $151 billion conglomerate, is actively testing autonomous micro-cars. According to Tata, it might be one of the first companies to roll out mass-produced self-driving cars.
- Caterpillar (CAT) – One of the largest heavy industry vehicle manufacturers in the world, Caterpillar is developing driverless trucks that could revolutionize many industries. In fact, the company is no stranger to automation, as several of its products already include self-driving trucks and other heavy vehicles, used by mining and construction companies around the world.
- Delphi (DLPH) – This auto parts company is one of the world leaders when it comes to electrical systems and software for vehicles. Its products could play an instrumental part in the linking of cars to advanced computer system required for autonomous driving.
- Ferrari (RACE) – The Italian supercar’s name is synonymous with luxury and speed. While it has distanced itself from the autonomous car space, it did declare that it is working on a fully electric supercar, which will rival the likes of Tesla.
- Volvo (VOLV-A.ST) – Swedish carmaker Volvo already has high-tech driver-assistance solutions in some of its models, which is a significant step in the direction of a fully autonomous vehicle.
- Alphabet (GOOG) – Google’s parent company is also the owner of Waymo, a company who already has self-driving cars roaming the streets of Silicon Valley. Unlike some other tech companies, who’ve kept their progress under wraps, Waymo has been very public with its driverless car prototypes and their performance.
- Alibaba (BABA) – The Chinese retail giant is known for its massive interest in technological innovation. Therefore, it is no wonder that the company has confirmed that it is also in the race for developing a self-driving car, alongside other tech companies.
- Baidu (BIDU) – Perhaps one of the strongest competitors in the race of launching the first road-ready autonomous car, Baidu has enjoyed the support of the Chinese government and is manufacturing and testing autonomous cars and buses. According to the company’s Apollo project timeline, Baidu will have a fully autonomous car ready for mass production by 2021.
- Microsoft (MSFT) – One of the largest tech corporations in the world, Microsoft is also heavily involved in implementing its technology in driverless cars. Some of the cars that use Microsoft’s technology are already being tested in several locations around the world.
- Blackberry (BBRY) – The former smartphone giant has pivoted into other areas in recent years, including software development. Blackberry is developing software that will be used in the autonomous car industry and has a partnership in place with Chinese giant Baidu.
- Intel (INTC) – According to the company, Intel has a chip in virtually every self-driving car that is being tested today. Moreover, the company strengthened its grip on the market by acquiring Mobileye, a startup which develops computer vision driver-assisting technology, for a whopping $15 billion.
- Apple (AAPL) – The world’s largest company has a strong presence in numerous fields of technology – and autonomous driving is no exception. Apple has been quite secretive about its driverless plans, but reports suggest the company is developing a brand new self-driving car of its own.
- Nvidia (NVDA) – Since an autonomous car requires great computing power, it is in need of strong processors. Nvidia is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of processors for some of the most performance-based computer functions, such as the real-time rendering of graphics-heavy computer games. Therefore, it is only natural that the company will also be taking part in making processors for self-driving cars.
- STMicroElectronics (STM.MI) – Europe’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, ST is also one of the companies taking part in creating the computerised “brains” that will steer the cars of the future.
- Infineon (IFX.DE) – This German chipmaker is developing semiconductors used in both driver-assistance systems and driverless cars. Teaming up with leading car makers, such as German luxury brand Audi, Infineon could serve a major role in the future of the automotive industry.
- Texas Instruments (TXN) – Developing semiconductors and various sensors for more than 80 years, Texas Instruments is making its way into the autonomous driving realm. In 2017, the company unveiled a new array of sensors that can be used for autonomous cars, drones and more(3).
- Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) – A power player in the microchip industry, AMD is known for offering computing solutions that are more affordable than its main competitors, without compromising on performance. The company started hiring personnel for its AMD automotive department, which strongly suggests it is venturing into the field.
- Dialog Semiconductor (DLG.DE) – This German semiconductor manufacturer has reportedly been involved in the early stages of Apple’s self-driving cars. While currently it seems that Apple chose to go another way, Dialog does have the capability to become a leading developer of hardware for autonomous vehicles.
- MaxLinear (MXL) – Developing hardware such as semiconductors and radio transmitters, this American company is directing some of its efforts into developing components to serve the self-driving car industry.
- NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) – This Dutch semiconductor manufacturer already has a strong foothold in the autonomous car industry, as it is one of the companies chosen by Chinese Baidu to help construct its driverless cars.
- Skyworks (SWKS) – Based in the US, Skyworks Solutions has manufactured some wireless transmitters that are being used for autonomous features in current cars. The company’s experience in the field could serve as a strong foundation for its future business in the driverless car space.
- HELLA (HLE.DE) – A well-known supplier of parts and subsystems for the automotive industry, HELLA has announced that it is strategically entering the driverless space in 2018(4).
- EnerSys (ENS) – This battery producer has its products powering numerous cars and aerospace vehicles. As the automobile market shifts towards being driverless and electric, EnerSys could be a dominant player, producing the batteries powering these vehicles.
- Visteon (VC) – This car electronics and computing company spun off from Ford in the year 2000. Visteon has developed a unique platform for driverless cars, which enables the car’s computer to decipher its surroundings and drive itself.
Each stock within the investment strategy’s composition is given equal allocation, and it is rebalanced by the eToro Investment Committee periodically. The minimum investment using the Driverless investment strategy is $5,000.
Investing in the self-driving car industry
It is obvious that there are numerous players and various companies operating in the driverless car space. In coming years, it is likely that more companies, both existing and new, will join the industry, while the autonomous car becomes a mass-produced, global phenomenon. As the industry takes form, eToro enables you to become part of the first wave of investors to take part in this exciting new automotive/technology sector. Using the Driverless CopyPortfolio, you can access a fully allocated, managed investment portfolio and gain exposure to the autonomous car industry.