Self-driving cars are the stuff of science fiction, right? Think Total Recall or Johnny Cab in Knight Rider.
But believe it or not, self-driving is already here. Companies like Waymo and TuSimple are leading the way. Tesla even has the “autopilot” feature on its 2022 Model X Plaid.
These cars just need to be refined and scaled. And then you’ll start seeing them right next to you on the highway, just like electric vehicles (EVs).
Car manufacturers like General Motors are investing heavily in LiDAR. This cutting-edge technology is setting up autonomous vehicles (AVs) to get even more popular — and potentially gain mass adoption within the next 10 years.
The AV trend is gaining a ton of momentum. So much in fact, that institutional investors like Cathie Wood are taking the AV leap along with GM.
Cathie Wood Sees General Motors as a Golden Opportunity
This week, Cathie Wood’s asset management firm, ARK Invest, purchased over 120,000 shares in General Motors (NYSE: GM).
It’s the firm’s first time scooping up GM shares since May 2022.
ARK Invest is known for its perma-bullish stance on innovation. So it makes sense that it purchased these shares for the Ark Autonomous Technology and Robotics ETF (BATS: ARKQ).
Now, ARKQ holds over 261,000 shares in GM.
This is a big deal — and not just for GM. Wood is a notorious questioner of legacy automakers. She’s also a long-time Tesla super bull.
With ARK’s investment, she’s not only showing interest in GM’s electric vehicle growth opportunities. She’s also buying into its self-driving technology advancements.
But whether you see this GM investment as a kiss of hope or death, it shows that ARK Invest spots a trend in GM that’s worth buying.
GM’s Goal for Full Autonomy
Ian King, editor of Strategic Fortunes, also sees General Motors as a worthy competitor in the EV and self-driving tech space.
He recommended GM to his subscribers in March 2021. While the position is underwater today, it likely won’t stay that way!
Like Wood, Ian sees GM as an old-world company that’s ushering in a new age of mobility.
GM is investing in forward-thinking technologies that focus on zero-emission EV batteries.
The company anticipates producing 1 million EVs by 2025.
One Wedbush analyst sees GM’s EV market growth as a “transformation opportunity” over the coming years.
In fact, they estimate that GM could “ultimately convert 20% of its massive customer base to EVs by 2026 and north of 50% by 2030.”
But the BIGGER opportunity for GM is autonomy.
Between 2020 and 2025, GM will invest $35 billion in EV and AV product development spending. That tops its gas and diesel investment!
Clearly, GM is committed to building “all-electric vehicles with autonomous capabilities integrated from the beginning, rather than through retrofits.”
It views this as “the most efficient way to unlock the tremendous potential societal benefits of self-driving cars.”
LiDAR: The Gateway to Making Self-Driving Cars
Like Ian, ARK Invest appreciates GM’s self-driving subsidiary: Cruise.
Cruise is making big inroads in the AV industry:
In June 2022, Cruise received California’s first Driverless Deployment Permit, allowing it to charge fees for its service. This was the first company to offer rides without a driver in a major public city.
But what makes AV tech possible? How can these driverless vehicles “see” and navigate roadways?
The answer is LiDAR.
What Is LiDAR?
LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a sonar that uses pulsed laser waves to map distances to nearby objects.
Autonomous vehicles rely on LiDAR sensors to “see.” This allows AVs to navigate their environment in real time. These sensors also allow AVs to determine when to slow down, stop, turn, etc.
LiDAR sensors work together with cameras, radars and GPS to move and operate self-driving vehicles.
And its market is growing.
According to recent Bloomberg reporting:
More automakers are incorporating LiDAR sensors in their advanced driver assistance systems.
A total of 21 carmakers globally have announced 25 LiDAR-equipped models, around 70% […] are from China.
Despite China’s leading position, international automakers such as Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. are expected to catch up with ambitious LiDAR-deployment plans.
Falling LiDAR prices, greater demand for advanced safety features and policy supports imply strong future growth for the sensor.
LiDAR is the next major “Fourth Industrial Revolution” breakthrough in self-driving tech.
And you can get in on this major tech trend before it truly takes off.
2 Ways You Could Profit From LiDAR’s Soaring Market
The global LiDAR market is projected to grow 650% by 2030.
Global Market Insights predicts the global LiDAR market — valued at $2 billion in 2021 — could top $15 billion by 2030.
That’s an astounding compound annual growth rate of 25%.
Here are two ways you can invest in the growing self-driving car market through LiDAR sensors.
Consider buying shares in the Global X Internet of Things ETF (Nasdaq: SNSR).
This exchange-traded fund (ETF) invests in companies that could potentially profit from the Internet of Things (IoT) sector. Technologies such as Wi-Fi and 5G are at the center of IoT.
Other aspects of IoT include:
Development and manufacturing of semiconductors and sensors. (Like those used in LiDAR and autonomous vehicles!)
Integrated products and solutions.
Applications that serve the industrial internet.
SNSR offers a great arena to invest in the IoT sector.
Check out Ian King’s tech stock tips with Strategic Fortunes.
In Ian’s Strategic Fortunes financial research service, he recommends companies that are laser-focused on LiDAR tech.
If you would like to learn more about his investment service and take advantage of his tech stock insights, go here.
With major tech innovations like LiDAR, we could see mass adoption of self-driving cars on roadways in less than 10 years.
And it’s fueling an exciting, new industry that could reach $15 billion in that same time frame.
Consider riding with companies like GM in this new frontier!
Until next time,
Director of Investment Research, Strategic Fortunes
Disclaimer: We will not track any stocks in Winning Investor Daily. We are just sharing our opinions, not advice. If you want access to the stocks in our model portfolio with tracking, updates and buy/sell guidance, please check out Strategic Fortunes.