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What's the Status of Autonomous Vehicles in September 2017?

PART:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part 9
What's the Status of Autonomous Vehicles in September 2017? PART 9 OF 10

Tesla’s Semi Truck Could Be Next Key Driver for Stock

Tesla’s semi truck unveiling event

On September 14, Elon Musk, Tesla’s (TSLA) co-founder and CEO, revealed a tentative date for the unveiling event of Tesla’s semi truck. In a tweet, Musk indicated October 26 as the potential date when the semi truck would be unveiled.

Tesla&#8217;s Semi Truck Could Be Next Key Driver for Stock

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What could it mean for Tesla?

In April 2017, Musk tweeted about Tesla’s intentions to build an electric semi truck, which was expected to be unveiled in September. The semi truck would mark Tesla’s entry in the commercial vehicle space, and it has the potential to become the next key driver for Tesla stock. This time, Tesla’s bet is even bigger, as truck manufacturing requires more funds than manufacturing cars. At the same time, semi trucks could be more rewarding for Tesla as compared to any other vehicle that it has produced so far. In general, heavyweight vehicles such as trucks tend to yield higher profit margins than cars do.

As of September 19, Tesla stock has risen about 75.5% YTD (year-to-date). This YTD performance was far better than the performances of US peers (XLY) like General Motors (GM) and Ford (F).

Will autopilot play an important role?

Tesla unveiled its autopilot system in late 2014, and the company announced a key software upgrade to improve the system in September last year. Prior to this upgrade, the Tesla autopilot system used high-definition cameras as primary sensors and onboard radar as a supplementary sensor. The upgrade enhanced the role of onboard radar in Tesla vehicles for automation rather than depending on built-in cameras for confirmation. Also, this upgrade aimed to avoid complete user dependence on the autopilot feature.

Since 2014, Tesla has been collecting data from its vehicles to consistently improve its autopilot system. This autopilot feature could be another key factor that could make Tesla’s semi truck stand out in the commercial vehicle space.

Read on to the next part to learn how tech giants such as Intel (INTC), NVIDIA (NVDA), and Samsung are gearing up to develop technology for autonomous vehicles.

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