Tesla Model Y - The Road to Autonomy

I Believe Self-Driving Cars, Automatic Cars are The Future

May 26, 2024

Koop Insurance - The Road to Autonomy

This Week in The Autonomy Economy is presented by Koop Insurance, a specialist insurance provider focused on robotics and autonomous vehicles.


This Week in The Autonomy Economy, The Road to Autonomy Index declined 0.94%, Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a 45-minute drive with his family in a Tesla with FSD Supervised mode engaged in Los Angeles, where he stated the words; “I Believe Self-Driving Cars, Automatic Cars are The Future” while riding in the vehicle. 

As coincidence would have it, soon after Mr. Johnson spoke those words, the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act was signed into law in England. Autonomous vehicles are projected to begin operating on British roads by 2026. The industry is estimated to create 38,000 jobs while having a £42 billion impact on England’s economy. 

Autonomy is good for the economy. It’s delightful to see the British Government recognize the positive economic impact that autonomy will have on the economy. As autonomy ramps up and regulations are put in place for commercial operations, investors are taking notice and investing in the sector. 

In the 2024 Brown Brothers Harriman Global ETF Investor Survey, 39% of ETF investors surveyed stated they are planning to invest in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle ETFs. ETF investor interest in the sector is up 32% since 2021. 

At the ACT Expo in Las Vegas, Volvo Autonomous Solutions unveiled Volvo’s first-ever production ready autonomous truck. The VNL truck was developed in collaboration with Aurora. This truck moves Aurora one step closer to launching fully autonomous commercial operations in Texas.

The coming years in autonomy are going to be very, very interesting. Today the financial media is focused on AI, tomorrow they will be focused on autonomy. When they turn their attention to autonomy, you will know that we have entered the autonomy era. 

AB Volvo and Tesla are The Road to Autonomy Index component companies

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A weekly newsletter featuring insight and commentary on the autonomy economy™ and how the financial markets are viewing its emergence. 

Autonomy Avenue Whispers

Could History Once Again Repeat Itself? There are whispers abound on Autonomy Avenue that history could once again repeat itself as the same mistakes are being made once again. First time, my fault, second time, my mistake and third time. Well, we will wait and see what happens. 


What’s Moving the Markets 

I Believe Self-Driving Cars, Automatic Cars are The Future

I Believe Self-Driving Cars, Automatic Cars are The Future, those are the words of Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mr. Johnson recently was in Los Angeles where he took a 45-minute drive with his family in a Tesla with FSD Supervised mode engaged. 

I am sitting at the wheel, but not touching it, and though my feet are near the pedals, I am not using them – and Oh my word, the steering wheel is twiddling itself.

It’s eerie at first, like watching a ghost depress the keys of a piano. Now it’s indicating, giving way, floating across the traffic with all the delicacy and tact of a living chauffeur. It’s so human, I gasp, so smooth.

– Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Mr. Johnson was able to experience the future during his trip to Los Angeles and he documented it in an article for the Daily Mail. While Mr. Johnson was enjoying his time in the States, over in the England the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act was signed into law

Autonomous vehicles will be begin operating on British roads by 2026. The AV Act is estimated to create 38,000 jobs and have a £42 billion impact on England’s economy. 

Between 2018 and 2022, the UK autonomous vehicle sector has generated £475 million of direct investment and created 1,500 new jobs. Fast forward to today and that direct investment is now over £1.5 billion with Wayve’s recent funding led by Softbank.

Britain stands at the threshold of an automotive revolution and this new law is a milestone moment for our self-driving industry, which has the potential to change the way we travel forever. 

– Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport 

Mr. Johnson believes in self-driving cars as well as the UK Government. The British economy will benefit from the commercial operation of autonomous vehicles. The UK just took the first step of introducing the autonomy economy with the passage of the AV Act. 

Our take: Autonomy is good for the British economy. Well done, Team England!


Autonomous Vehicles are Revitalizing San Francisco’s Tourism Economy 

Waymo Autonomous Vehicle - The Road to Autonomy
Waymo Autonomous Vehicle | Source: Waymo

Autonomous vehicles are beginning to have a positive economic impact on San Francisco’s tourism economy as the city’s tourism economy rebounds from the pandemic. 

In 2023, San Francisco attracted 23.1 million visitors, a 5.2% year-over-year increase with visitor spending growing by 18% to $8.8 billion. Tourism in San Francisco supports nearly 63,000 jobs. Jobs supporting tourism is the second-largest source of employment as of Q3 2023. 

With the tourism economy being the second-largest source of employment, one has to wonder why city officials are constantly trying to slow down the deployment of autonomous vehicles as tourists are flocking to San Francisco to ride in autonomous vehicles

When David De Clercq traveled to San Francisco last year, he had a few musts on his itinerary: Go to Alcatraz. Try new restaurants. And ride in a self-driving car.

– David De Clercq Interview with The New York Times (May 22, 2024)

Formerly when tourists would to visit San Francisco, they would clamor to ride in one of the city’s iconic cable cars, now it’s riding in an autonomous vehicle. The individuals who flock to San Francisco to ride in autonomous vehicles are dinning in restaurants and shopping in the city. Their spending is having a positive impact on the city’s economy.

Autonomy is good for the economy. As autonomous vehicles scale, they will be an all-important part of the autonomy economy.

Our take: We would encourage Waymo to work with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to publish a research report on the positive economic impact that autonomous vehicles are having on San Francisco’s economy.

Waymo parent Alphabet is a The Road to Autonomy Index component company


Volvo VNL Autonomous: Built for Autonomy

Volvo VNL Autonomous Truck Powered by Aurora - The Road to Autonomy
Volvo VNL Autonomous Truck Powered by Aurora | Source: Aurora

At the ACT Expo in Las Vegas on May 20th, Volvo Autonomous Solutions unveiled Volvo’s first-ever production ready autonomous truck. The VNL autonomous truck was developed in collaboration with Aurora, moving Aurora one step closer to launching fully autonomous commercial operations in Texas.

EvrISI Take – while this doesn’t confirm Volvo will be the launch partner (could be either Volvo or PACCAR), this is another proof point as AUR continues to execute across the path for YE24 commercial launch.

– Chris McNally, Evercore ISI, May 22, 2024 Global Automotive Report

As Mr. McNally rightly points out, we do not have confirmation on who Aurora’s launch partner will be, but we do hear whispers on Autonomy Avenue who the partner might be. Regardless of who the launch partner will ultimately be, Aurora continues to make progress in developing the Aurora driver. From a business perceptive, they have secured the right partnerships to scale and commercialize the business. 

If you are interested in learning more about Volvo Autonomous Solutions and Aurora, we would recommend the following podcasts:

Our take: The Volvo / Aurora partnership continues to grow and evolve.

Aurora investors Uber and Toyota is a The Road to Autonomy Index component companies


ETF Investors Plan to Increase Autonomous Vehicle Investment Exposure 

Brown Brothers Harriman 2024 Global ETF Investor Survey - The Road to Autonomy
Brown Brothers Harriman 2024 Global ETF Investor Survey 

In Brown Brothers Harriman’s 2024 Global ETF Investor Survey, 39% of ETF investors surveyed stated they are planning to invest in electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle ETFs. 

While there is not currently a pure-play autonomous vehicle ETF, there is an Index — The Road to Autonomy Index. The Road to Autonomy Index is the world’s first and only pure-play index designed to measure the performance of the autonomous vehicle/truck market. 

Follow The Road to Autonomy Index on Apple Stocks | Google Finance

The survey conducted by Brown Brothers Harriman clearly demonstrates investor appetite for investing in autonomous vehicles.

Our take: The Future is Bright. The Future is Autonomous. The Future is Investable. 


Social Buzz

Pony.ai Looks to Expand to Korea

In a May 20th interview with The Chosunilbo, James Peng, Founder & CEO, Pony.ai announced the company is looking to expand into Korea. Korea will be Pony.ai’s third market behind China and the U.S.

Pony.ai has always remained sort of a mystery in the development of autonomy as they made the decision to mainly focus on the China market. It was a strategic move for Mr. Peng and a move that could potentially pay off for him, his company and shareholders. 

As Pony.ai expands and prepares for their IPO in New York, we will be watching to see what the investor appetite is for their shares. 

Our takeYears ago, we met with Pony.ai and rode in their autonomous vehicle around Silicon Valley. The vehicle performed extremely well and we are curious how it has improved over the last 6+ years.

Pony.ai investor Toyota is a The Road to Autonomy Index component company


Kodiak to Develop an Autonomous Military Ground Vehicle in Partnership with Textron Systems

On May 20th, Kodiak announced a partnership with Textron Systems to develop an autonomous military ground vehicle specifically designed for fully autonomous operations.

This will be the first time that Kodiak has integrated the Kodiak driver into a vehicle designed for full autonomy. The beauty of Kodiak is their SensorPods and the adaptability they offer the company.

For defense applications, Kodiak has developed Kodiak DefensePods. A hardened version of the SensorPods designed for military use. 

Inside of Kodiak there are several businesses: Autonomous Trucking, Off-Road and Defense and SensorPods. For such a young company, they are highly diversified with multiple revenue streams.

Our take: Kodiak’s SensorPods could become the biggest business inside of Kodiak if the company was ever to license the technology. 


Commercializing Autonomous Mining Trucks

On May 21st, Scania announced the company has opened orders for its autonomous mining trucks in Australia with orders to soon to follow in Latin America. The first autonomous mining trucks are scheduled to be delivered in 2026. 

The transition from research and development to the launch of a commercial product is a major milestone for us and for autonomous heavy transport in general. This is the most advanced product Scania has put on the market so far.

– Peter Hafmar, Vice President and Head of Autonomous Solutions, Scania

Scania is making autonomy a business. Today, mining is one of the best applications to deploy autonomous trucks, as autonomy unlocks 24/7 operations in environments with extremely high labor turnover.

If you are interested in learning more about Scania and their approach to autonomy, we would recommend the following podcast:

Our takeThe autonomous mining sector continues to grow. As autonomy scales in mining, the economics of mining will begin to change for the better.


The Road to Autonomy Index® / Weekly Performance 

The Road to Autonomy Index® is a high-definition lens into the emerging world of autonomous vehicles. It is the world’s first and only pure-play index designed to measure the performance of the autonomous vehicle/truck market.

For the week of May 20th, The Road to Autonomy Index declined 0.94%, the S&P 500 returned 0.03% and the NASDAQ 100 returned 1.41%. The Road to Autonomy Index underperformed the S&P 500 by 0.09% and underperformed the NASDAQ 100 by 2.35%.

The Road to Autonomy Index Performance – Week of May 20, 2024 - The Road to Autonomy
The Road to Autonomy Index Performance – Week of May 20, 2024 

Year to Date (YTD), The Road to Autonomy Index has returned 10.78%

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The Road to Autonomy Index Component Companies

For more information on The Road to Autonomy Index and to learn about licensing and marketing opportunities, please email hello (at) roadtoautonomy.com

The Road to Autonomy & Autonomy Economy Podcasts 

The Road to Autonomy podcast features unconventional conversations about the future of mobility and the `Autonomy Economy features an insider’s perspective on the economics of autonomy. New episodes weekly.

Economics of Electrifying Commercial Fleets

Zeem Solutions - The Road to Autonomy
Zeem Depot | Source: Zeem Solutions

Paul Gioupis, Founder & CEO, Zeem Solutions joined The Autonomy Economy podcast to discuss the economics of electrifying commercial fleets and the current state of the electric commercial fleet market.

Listen on The Road to Autonomy | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube Music

Watch on X | YouTube

Thursday, May 23, 2024


Nothing Runs Like an Autonomous Deere: Increasing Efficiency on Farms

John Deere 8R Autonomous Tractor - The Road to Autonomy
Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor | Source: Deere

Aaron Ticknor, Product Manager, Large Ag Autonomy, John Deere The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss the future of autonomous tractors on farms.

Listen on The Road to Autonomy | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube Music

Watch on X | YouTube

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Autonomy Insights

Autonomy Insights keeps you ahead of the trends and influences that are shaping the future of the autonomy economy. New episodes every Monday.

Autonomous Trucking is Closer Than You Think, With Favorable Regulations Already in Place

Kodiak Autonomous Truck - The Road to Autonomy

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) issued guidance through their AV 3.0 framework that specifically stated that going forward, federal trucking regulations from the FMCSA will no longer assume that a commercial vehicle driver must be a human present in the vehicle. This cleared the way for self-driving trucks to operate legally, as long as they comply with existing trucking regulations. 

Dan Goff, Director of External Affairs, Kodiak Robotics joined The Road to Autonomy Founder Grayson Brulte to discuss the current regulatory landscape for autonomous trucks in the United States.

Watch on X | YouTube | LinkedIn

Listen on The Road to Autonomy | Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Monday, May 20, 2024

Subscribe to This Week in The Autonomy Economy™

A weekly newsletter featuring insight and commentary on the autonomy economy™ and how the financial markets are viewing its emergence. 

All price references and market forecasts are as of the date that this newsletter has been sent. The Road to Autonomy is not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, or tax advice or recommendations in this newsletter. The information contained in this newsletter does not constitute investment advice and should not be relied upon to evaluate any potential transaction. 

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.