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Saturday, 09/18/2021 5:23:34 PM

Saturday, September 18, 2021 5:23:34 PM

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The following article on LiDAR stocks is from three weeks ago but its still relevant today, and specifically mentions Aeva.

It's time to buy the dip on the LiDAR stocks

LiDAR stocks were once the hype; then people dumped them and they're now trading at attractive entry prices.

*This article isn't financial advice. All content should be considered opinionated. We are not responsible for any gains & losses. Please see a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Recently, Waymo expanded its robotaxi service to San Francisco. This comes after many years of Waymo testing its vehicles in closed courses and then started offering service in Phoenix a few years ago.

Waymo's closest competitor, Cruise (a majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors), has been doing testing in SF for the past few years. While Cruise has yet to start offering robotaxi service, GM has announced that they will produce their driverless shuttle called the Origin.

In June of last year, Amazon acquired self-driving startup Zoox for $1.2 billion. Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology startup backed by Ford and VW, is offering rides using autonomous vehicles in California using Lyft's rideshare platform.

For Tesla, they've been offering their autopilot software as a subscription service. Elon Musk has said that Tesla's robotaxi network is key to the company's massive valuation.

The overall theme is that for the past few years, investment in self-driving technology has accelerated and we're closer to a world where robotaxis roam our roads and take us from Point A to Point B.

What is LiDAR?
LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses a pulsed laser beam to measure distances. In the field of autonomous driving, the only company that isn't using LiDAR (until lately) is Tesla.

In a tweet, someone in Palm Beach, Florida spotted a Tesla Model Y equipped with LiDAR. Since it had a California manufacturing license plate, it's assumed that Tesla is now using LiDAR. Tesla was reported to have partnered with LiDAR manufacturer Lunimar, according to Bloomberg, but the exact details of the partnerships are unknown.

The only thing we do know about the partnership is that Luminar sold LiDAR equipment to Tesla, but that's about it. Also, it's unlikely that Tesla will consider using LiDAR considering the many complications that come with deploying LiDAR.

Furthermore, the cost of LiDAR is enormous. By some accounts, LiDAR equipment could cost as much as $75,000. However, by mass producing LiDAR equipment, experts believe that the cost of LiDAR equipment will decrease significantly. Reuters reported that Velodyne plans on selling its LiDAR equipment below $500. Luminar, another LiDAR manufacturer, also plans on pricing its LiDAR equipment at around $500. Waymo is also considering selling LiDAR sensors to businesses outside of the self-driving industry.

Back in the day, LiDAR costs were so expensive that Google decided to acquire Waymo and General Motors decided to acquire Cruise. By producing the equipment on a massive scale, they were able to drive down the cost of production by reapin the benefits of economies of scale.

With that, as the automotive world looks to implement LiDAR equipment into their vehicles to make them capable of self-driving, the demand for LiDAR equipment will surge. With that surge in demand, the LiDAR manufactuers will see a lot of business and will be reaping huge profits. Right now, the industry is young but like the electric vehicle industry, this industry is also positioned to boom big time.

Whether we're talking about Luminar, Velodyne, Innoviz, Ouster, Aeva, or MicroVision, the LiDAR startups of today will be LiDAR giants in the future. In my humble opinion, out of all the names I've mentioned in this paragraph, I'm more skeptical about MicroVision than the rest and I like Luminar the most out of the rest but at the same time, I can see all of them thriving as a whole.

Also, while the LiDAR equipment might take away from the appeal of the car, the industry is looking to add sleeker design and is also looking to make them smaller so that they look less noticable on the vehicles.

As various federal and state government agencies look to approve the operations of robotaxi networks in various parts of the world, we will be seeing companies like Waymo and Cruise reporting their first profit in their operating history after many years of R&D and patience in developing a functioning robotaxi fleet.

Once we start seeing robotaxis becoming functional, we will then see trucks driving autonomously. Autonomous trucks will help alleviate the truck driver shortage and at the same time, we will start seeing our supply chains becoming more efficient than ever.

People will be concerned that robotaxis and autonomous trucks will remove many jobs and many side hustle opportunities. At the same time, our law enforcement agencies as well as our goverment officials will be glad to see that we are having fewer fatalities on our roads and our economy is operating more efficiently.

As for investors that are concerned about whether the boom in LiDAR equipment is sustainable or not, it's important to note that in the future, for every new vehicle that is built, it needs LiDAR equipment. With that, the LiDAR equipment manufacturers are positioned to see a ton of recurring sales in the future, as long as car companies continue to produce newer cars.

In the meantime, invest wisely!

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