Miami - The Road to Autonomy

Autonomous Vehicles Poised to Become Big Business in Miami

This Week In The Road to Autonomy Index — For the week of July 17, 2023, The Road to Autonomy Index declined 0.21%, while the S&P 500, returned 0.61%. The top performing stocks in The Road to Autonomy Index this week were J.B. Hunt, Uber and Magna.

On this episode, Grayson Brulte discusses Cruise’s robotaxi expansion to Miami and what the future holds for autonomous vehicles in Miami. Between 2021 and 2022, Miami’s population grew 1.7%, making it the 4th fastest growing city in the United States.

As Miami grows, the hospitality industry is taking notice and expanding to the city as well. Michelin Starred Chef, Thomas Keller currently operates The Surf Club Restaurant at The Four Seasons in Surfside and is in the process of opening Bouchon Bistro in Coral Gables.

With 8 Michelin Stars under his belt and the only U.S. chef to operate two three-star Michelin restaurants, what could be next for Chef Keller? Could he possibly look to integrate an autonomous vehicle experience into the overall The Surf Club experience?

It is possible and you never know as Miami, after all is the Magic City. With Cruise expanding to Miami, it’s a sign of things to come. Could Waymo be next to expand autonomous vehicle operations to Miami and tap into the experience opportunity?

Or could Chef Keller opt to include an autonomous vehicle experience as part of the dinning experience? If Chef Keller did, could this lead to his 9th or 10th Michelin Star? You never know, as some point in the future the 4th Michelin Star will become the autonomous vehicle experience.

No longer will restaurants and Chef’s be judged on just the food, dinning experience and service, instead the judging will begin the moment a Michelin inspector enters the bespoke autonomous vehicle operated by the restaurant.

Look for the autonomous vehicle Michelin Star experienced to be pioneered in Miami with Fort Partners potentially playing a role. After all, Fort Partners owns The Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Miami (Brickell), The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale and The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.

Could Fort Partners potentially partner with Four Seasons and introduce a bespoke autonomous vehicle service that connects all four South Florida Four Seasons into one magical guest experience? Yes, and after all, Four Seasons entered the yacht market in 2023.

The autonomous vehicle experience in Miami will be one that integrates Michelin quality dinning with hospitality — it will be a luxury experience. An experience that is built on the overall guest experience, opening the door for Mercedes to potentially enter the sector with a luxury autonomous vehicle experience.

Today, Mercedes is laying the foundation for this experience with the introduction of the Maybach EQS complete with an SAE Level 3 automated driving system. If it’s not Mercedes, could it be another luxury car market such as Range Rover if the company licensees FSD (Full Self-Driving) from Tesla.

Tesla is currently in the process of licensing FSD. RBC Analyst Tom Narayan is projecting that Tesla could generate $23.7 billion in revenue if Tesla can license FSD in 56m vehicles by 2035 at $71 a vehicle, a month with a 50% take rate.

It’s a big business and one that Alphabet CFO, Ruth Porat has to be considering for Waymo. If Waymo were to license their autonomous vehicle stack and generate close to the amount of revenue that RBC is projecting for Tesla, Waymo would no longer be an “Other Bet”.

Waymo would be a real business when combined with it’s growing robotaxi business. If this was to happen, Waymo would be on the road to becoming another YouTube in terms of revenue generated for Alphabet.

We are at the dawn of The Autonomy Economy as the seeds for the autonomy becoming a big business are being planted with licensing and experiences.

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The Road to Autonomy Index®

The Road to Autonomy Index is an autonomous vehicle index comprised of 38 publicly-traded companies. The Index is a rules-based equity benchmark index that is calculated by Standard and Poor’s Dow Jones Indices. The Index measures the performance of a basket of global companies that are involved in the development and commercialization of autonomous driving technologies.

Included in the Index are companies that are developing autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), autonomous trucks and off-road specialty vehicles. As well as transportation, technology, industrial and services companies that have identified autonomy as a key component of their growth strategies. 

Inclusion of a security within The Road to Autonomy Index® is not a recommendation by The Road to Autonomy Indices LLC to buy, sell, or hold such security, nor is it considered to be investment advice.