The price per mile of car travel hasn’t changed in 100 years, and it’s about to significantly drop with autonomous technology,” says Keeney. “[The auto industry is] undergoing two monumental transformations – the shift toward both autonomous and electric vehicles. This requires an entirely new business model, and may be an insurmountable task.”
Above: Ark Analyst Tasha Keeney explains why autonomous vehicles could increase traffic threefold by 2030 (Youtube: Ark Invest)
Tesla’s true ace in the hole is its Autopilot hardware, now included on all its new vehicles. Tesla will be able to implement ever-more-capable self-driving capabilities as they become available — something no other automaker can do. Furthermore, its fleet of vehicles is generating an enormous trove of data. This data is not only valuable to Tesla as it improves its Autopilot system, but it could also have a substantial cash value — one that ARK believes has not been considered by stock analysts.
“Data is a huge opportunity for Tesla, and it’s not being talked about at all today,” Keeney says. “To give perspective on how much this data is worth … a new startup called Lvl5 [has] created a camera product that Uber and Lyft drivers can mount onto their cars to collect autonomous data. In return, the driver gets paid up to 5 cents per mile by Lvl5. Lvl5’s system is one camera. Tesla has 8 cameras on each car plus many other pieces of hardware for [data collection]. By the end of 2018, ARK estimates that Tesla could be collecting data worth over $2 billion in sales on an annualized basis.”
According to Keeney, “no analysts are actually accounting for this opportunity, so you can think of the data opportunity as additional value on top of today’s valuation.”
Source: Huffington Post