Vision Chip Drives Rise of Self-Driving Cars

(Veteran tech stock columnist Jon D. Markman publishes Strategic Advantage, a lively guide to investing in the digital transformation of business and society. Click here for a trial.)

The automotive world is making an important digital transformation. Cars and trucks are getting safer and smarter thanks to silicon and software that makes sense of the real world.

Executives at Ambarella Corp. ( (AMBA) – Get Report) reported Tuesday that the company shipped 300,000 computer vision enabled microprocessors to car companies last quarter alone.

This digital future of automobiles is here. Investors should buy component suppliers now.

There is a disconnect. Too many investors assume that self-driving cars will mark the coming out party for makers of smart technology. To get to truly autonomous vehicles, known as AVs for short, there are many regulatory hurdles, not to mention the cost of the expensive technology needed collect and make

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Ford Vows to Phase Out Gas Cars in Europe by 2030

BERLIN— Ford Motor Co. said it would invest $1 billion in a German factory as part of a plan to phase out gas-powered cars in Europe by 2030, the latest auto maker to embrace a shift to electric vehicles.

Ford said Wednesday that it will convert its plant in Cologne to produce electrics, including the company’s first European-built all-electric passenger car in 2023. By 2030, electric vehicles should account for all its passenger-car sales in Europe, along with two-thirds of its commercial vans and trucks, the company said.

Most of the car industry’s well-known brands have dramatically increased investment into electric vehicles as the broader automotive industry begins in earnest to phase out traditional engines and shift almost entirely to electric vehicles and hybrids over the next decade.

“Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility… is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation.

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COVID has some families rethinking second cars

COVID-19 has reduced driving in the United States, as people have been ordered and lobbied by governments to stay close to home. For couples with more than one vehicle, this commute constriction has reduced the use of second cars. Will this great parking job lead to large-scale vehicular downsizing?

Suppliers, experts, and parents admitted to the Washington Examiner that this is a tricky question that will take some time to sort.

Rich Hartman owns automotive dealerships in Washington state. He told the Washington Examiner, “In a big city, there’s absolutely, positively a one-car family,” but observers won’t “see that out in the country at all.” He also doesn’t expect that city-country dynamic to budge much.

The Evergreen State car dealer said that if people sell their second cars, “it’s being eaten up really quick” because the supply of cars, trucks, and SUVs has been “inhibited” by the

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Apple may manufacture self-driving cars at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia.

Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday he welcomed the possibility that Apple will set up production with Kia Motors to manufacture Apple-branded vehicles at the Korean company’s assembly plant in West Point.

“Kia’s commitment to excellence and its strong partnership with the state only strengthens Georgia’s status as a leader in technology, innovation and manufacturing,” said Kemp in a nod to media reports.

CNBC reported on Wednesday that Apple was close to finalizing a deal with Kia to produce Apple-designed vehicles at the West Point plant in Georgia. Apple will invest $3.6 billion in the venture with Kia, which will start operations in 2024, Bloomberg reported, citing a Korean news agency.

State economic development officials with direct knowledge of discussions stressed to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that no agreement has been finalized.

Rick Douglas, a West Point-based spokesman for Kia, declined to comment Thursday. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

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