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Autonomous, or "self-driving" cars have been steadily growing in sophistication, moving up that long ladder from Level 0 - no automation - to the "end zone": Level 5, fully automated vehicles.
We're not at Level 5 yet, though some makers like Tesla are closer than ever, but the closer we get to that end zone, the more money companies are pouring into the space.
This is creating the potential for a payday the likes of which we've rarely seen. Now even retailers are getting in on the action - Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced plans to begin testing AV deliveries in Austin, Miami, and Washington, D.C., doing so in partnership with Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and Argo AI, a self-driving tech startup.
And this is coming hot on the heels of an announcement from Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)-backed autonomous car firm, saying it plans to add its driverless ride-hailing service in San Francisco, its second market after Phoenix.
So little wonder, then, that Allied Market Research projects the space to grow nearly 40% a year through 2026, by which time it'll be worth a cool $556 billion.
But I've identified the one company that's enabling all this growth potential. Let me be perfectly clear: Without this company, self-driving vehicles wouldn't be where they are right now, and they wouldn't be anywhere near close to that "end zone."
Even better, this company is trading at a near-10% discount right now - an irresistible price we're not likely to see again as stocks broadly recover.
Mainstream analysts expect this company to double its earnings by the end of next year, and many of them have set share prices more than 50% higher than what it's trading for today.
I think it could go even higher, though, and here's why...
Robots Right to Your Front Door
The online journal AI Startups recently listed 38 autonomous vehicle startups around the world. The top eight are based in the United States and have raised a combined $21.4 billion.
And the thing is, that's a fraction of the total; it's not completely clear exactly how much money is flowing into this space, but that's a powerful start already.
And several of those new projects, like Walmart's, are focused on automating deliveries.
The business case here is clear: Online shopping has taken the country and the world by storm in large part because it's so convenient, pandemic or not. Shoppers want their purchases delivered just as conveniently. That means next-day or even same-day delivery.
That's why Walmart is moving ahead with driverless deliveries with the startup Argo AI. This driverless technology company is no lightweight. It's backed by Ford and Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY), two of the largest carmakers in the world.
The idea is to have Walmart workers at local warehouses and stores load deliveries into an Argo-controlled vehicle, which will then drive itself to its destinations. This promises to make deliveries faster, cheaper, and more convenient.
But like I said, none of it goes anywhere without this firm...
A "Self-Driving" Stock
The supply firm I have in mind, Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA), is bringing serious firepower to bear on the AV "problem," building a world-beating team. According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, it has nearly twice as many employees working on autonomous vehicles as Waymo - 2,350 to 1,200.
It's a stock I'm very familiar with - and a lot of my Nova-X Report subscribers are, too. I first recommended the stock back in 2016, and my readers recently had the chance to close out a partial position for 263% gains in a year.
Now, Nvidia is a great chip firm whose advanced products are moving the space rapidly forward. For example, the Nvidia DRIVE platform is a supercomputer-on-a-chip purpose-made for processing signals from car sensors, cameras, and radar.
The chip's built-in AI then analyzes these signals to determine where the vehicle is in relation to its surroundings, and the best and safest route to get to its destination while avoiding obstacles.
Nvidia's DRIVE chips also integrate the conveniences of modern driving directly into the self-driving AI. I'm talking voice control, driver-assist, heads-up displays, crash alerts, GPS functionality, and monitoring drivers for whether they're falling asleep.
The latest DRIVE Orin chip can even use all its signals to recreate a 3D model of what's outside the car to its passengers, showing that it's aware of any dangers. This will be important to building trust with passengers as cars become more and more autonomous.
Of course, safety in car chips is even more important. That's why each generation of Nvidia's DRIVE platform has gone through the most strenuous testing. In the latest DRIVE Orin configuration, every application on the system can be updated without requiring the system itself to reboot.
That's a crucial safety feature. As you can imagine, rebooting a car while it's driving itself would be... bad.
Even better, now is a good time to get in on Nvidia's stock. It had a great catalyst back in June, when the stock split 4 to 1. Nvidia also smashed earnings in the June quarter, reporting a 95% earnings increase.
I'm forecasting annual earnings growth, on the conservative side, of 30%, but my expectation is that earnings will grow much faster than that, leading to share price gains of as much as 60% before long. There have already been incredible profits in Nvidia, and I see incredible profit potential ahead, too.
There's tremendous profit potential in the driverless cars and electric vehicles space, but I think the true "Digital Gold Rush" of the 21st century is cryptocurrency. I'm not just talking about Bitcoin, either - I've been following three very small cryptocurrencies that have soared 1,000% and more since the beginning of 2021. The first coin better than quintupled this year, the second could very well "20X" your money by early 2022, and the third coin is trading for just pennies right now. Let me show you what's going on here...
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...
- He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
- He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
- As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.
This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.
In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.
Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.
And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.
Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.
To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.
His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.