If You Can Only Buy One Autonomous Driving Stock, It Better Be One of These 3 Names

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Autonomous driving stocks will produce large returns over time. The key is going to be identifying those firms most likely to establish dominant positions in the industry. Overall growth is expected to annually reach approximately 38% during the decade between 2022 and 2032. Big winners will emerge, and those invested will benefit from the corresponding price appreciation.

There are 6 levels of driving automation ranging from level 0 full manual control to level 6 automation requiring no human interaction. Current technology available to consumers is at level 4. Level 4 automation will be discussed in relation to the companies in this article.

Aptiv (APTV)

Aptiv (NYSE:APTV) is a Dublin-based firm and stock that sprung out of the now-defunct Delphi subsidiary of General Motors (NYSE:GM). The company designs and manufactures a variety of automobile components and is a stable investment for autonomous driving enthusiasts.

Aptiv is deeply involved in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that assist drivers both while moving on roads and in parking. The company’s Gen 6 ADAS Platform is designed to work seamlessly with today’s software-defined vehicles. It is essentially a suite of radars, vision sensors, and lidar that help the vehicle create a picture of the environment around it, enhancing safety.

Automated parking is one of the more in-demand functions of Aptiv’s Gen 6 ADAS Platform. It allows passengers to be dropped off and then parks the vehicle in space and returns when summoned. The platform offers many other features that make parking much easier and automated. 

The company grew by 15% in the first quarter based on sales and provided $146 million of net income to shareholders.

Luminar (LAZR) 

Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR) is an important lidar stock and company that provides solutions for level 3 through level 5 autonomous vehicles. The company is partnered with more than 50 firms globally and aims to eliminate vehicle accidents in the future.

Lidar is an acronym that stands for light detection and ranging. Essentially, it sends lasers out and, based on the time it takes for those lasers to return, builds a 3D picture of the surrounding environment. In time, Luminar hopes that lidar will be standard on all vehicles. It also hopes that the technology becomes advanced enough to have the predictive capability to prevent accidents entirely.

It is a noble goal, and if Luminar achieves it, the company will grow wildly. Currently, Luminar is growing well. Q1 results were strong enough that the company was confident that it would meet or beat all milestones and guidance for 2023. The company intends to add $1 billion to its forward order book and open a manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is another smart investment in a stock that offers autonomous driving upside and more. It is the parent company that includes Google. Its Waymo subsidiary benefits from its massive revenues through search and advertising and other tech products.

However, Alphabet is an umbrella for many other ‘bets,’ including the aforementioned Waymo self-driving vehicle subsidiary.

If you are reading this from San Francisco or Phoenix, there’s a good chance you will have seen one of Waymo’s vehicles. The Waymo app allows people in those cities to hail driverless taxis branded under the Waymo colors. Passengers can then take Waymo vehicles around the cities. It is soon expanding to Los Angeles. In time, it’s entirely reasonable to assume that Waymo’s revenues could rival or exceed those of current, publicly listed ride-share firms.

Waymo also operates an autonomous solution for long-haul transport called Waymo Via. Further, it has been testing and operating autonomous trucks in the Dallas area since 2020. Those trucks include a backup driver in the seat and a software technician in the passenger seat. The trucks have been transporting freight between Dallas and Houston over that time.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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