TuSimple, an automated driving system for long-distance trucks, has filed papers to make an initial public stock offering in late March, despite its meager revenues and hefty expenses.
Argo AI, which makes automated taxis and has cadged investments from Ford and Volkswagen, may go public late this year or early next, the company’s CEO told staff in a meeting early this month, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
Other automated car companies also are lining up to enter the stock market, the WSJ reported, perhaps through special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). (See related story.)
Stock buyers have been favoring automotive companies recently and “public markets have more appetite for early-stage companies,” noted David Liu, CEO of Plus, which makes tech for long-haul trucks, in comments quoted by the WSJ.
However, the technological challenges remaining around the systems these companies are developing – the “eyes and ears” and software to run self-driving cars safely – are daunting.
“Self-driving vehicles are often swept into the same bucket as electric ones,” WSJ columnist Stephen Wilmot wrote on 8 April. “In reality, both the technology and the business case [for automated vehicles] are more speculative.”
“It is easier to see why automated-driving companies might benefit from public markets than the other way around,” he wrote.
TREND FORECAST: For several years, Wall Street and the media have been hyping the driverless car movement. Go back four years ago and they promised a new driverless world by 2025. We maintain our forecast that that truly autonomous vehicles and driverless taxis flooding the freeways, highways, and side streets of a country near you is long down the road geek-fed fantasy.
Moreover, marketing and public relations specialists who spew one overblown, promise-the-world press release after another will find studies and fact-based findings from scientists, engineers, and technologists who don’t represent these special interests, which will prove a driverless society in the near future is a fallacy. 
Yet, despite the facts, the driverless hype will, from time to time, generate equity market income and stock market gambling.   
On the upside of the driverless trend, we forecast that autonomous vehicles specifically engineered for mining, trucking, city busing – moving people or cargo from point A to point B on specific routes – is the near/midterm future of driverless vehicles.

Comments are closed.

Skip to content