Eoin Treacy's view -
Some lidar suppliers gained Tuesday after Reuters reported that Apple Inc. plans to build a self-driving car for consumers and is tapping outside partners for elements of the system as it develops its own battery Technology.
Apple is approaching companies for some parts, including lidar sensors that provide autonomous cars with a real-time, 3-D view of the world, the report said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Lidar supplier Luminar Technologies Inc. rose as much as 12% on Tuesday, while Velodyne Lidar Inc. surged 16%. Blank-check firms that are bringing more lidar players to the market also advanced: InterPrivate Acquisition Corp. climbed 17%, while Collective Growth Corp. jumped as much as 24%.
Apple has been working on driverless car Technology since 2014, but pared back its ambitions from a full-fledged vehicle in 2017, Bloomberg News has reported. Since then, Apple has been working on the underlying autonomous system. The company has been deciding whether to attach this system to its own car, or existing vehicles, or to partner with an established carmaker, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.
Apple enjoys an almost 40% gross margin on its iPhones and tablets. Porsche has about a 47% gross margin on the 911 and Ferrari has a more than 50% gross margin on its cars. Tesla’s is 16.5%. Toyota’s is 18% and Volkswagen’s is 19.5%. No mass market producer has been able to achieve margins on the scale Technology companies are accustomed to.
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