Autonomous vehicle, or AV, technology is generally considered a can’t-miss, long-term investment. Several companies have already launched fully AV services for the public in a handful of cities in the U.S. and around the world, and those services are growing and expanding rapidly. Investors who bet on early AV market leaders could be handsomely rewarded. However, the AV industry is wide open, and the technology is still a long way from perfection. Bank of America has listed AV technology as a key theme in the tech space.
Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL)
Alphabet is the parent company of Google and YouTube and is a global leader in online advertising. Alphabet subsidiary Waymo already offers fully driverless rides in San Francisco and Phoenix, and plans to add service in Los Angeles. Bank of America analyst Justin Post says Alphabet is highly exposed to several high-growth tech trends, including internet search, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Post says growth in mobile device usage, video streaming and connected automobiles and other devices will be long-term tailwinds. Bank of America has a “buy” rating and $125 price target for GOOGL stock, which closed at $104.64 on April 12.
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)
Nvidia is a semiconductor company that develops graphics cards and mobile processors used in personal computers, wireless devices and workstations. Nvidia also offers hardware, software and sensor packages for AVs via its DRIVE platform. The company is a diversified play on AV technology, and analyst Vivek Arya says its unique pipeline of AI technology also contributes to its massive total addressable market. Bank of America has a “buy” rating and $310 price target for NVDA stock, which closed at $264.95 on April 12.
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)
Qualcomm is a semiconductor company that develops products based on its advanced wireless broadband technology. Auto companies have adopted Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Ride platforms to produce safe and scalable advanced driver-assistance systems and AV solutions. First-generation Snapdragon Ride systems are already being used in commercial vehicles around the world. The semiconductor industry has been volatile in recent quarters, but analyst Tal Liani says market expectations for Qualcomm have likely bottomed, setting the stock up to outperform in coming months. Bank of America has a “buy” rating and $150 price target for QCOM stock, which closed at $120.27 on April 12.
Shares of microprocessor and graphics semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices are up more than 800% in the past five years, making it one of the best-performing large-cap tech stocks in the market. The AMD Automotive platform helps power advanced autonomous systems that require extremely high-speed data aggregation, pre-processing and distribution. In November 2022, Japanese automotive component company Aisin Corp. (ASEKF) selected the AMD Xilinx Automotive Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC platform to power its automated parking-assist system. Arya says AMD is also a top stock pick in AI and cloud services technology. Bank of America has a “buy” rating and $98 price target for AMD stock, which closed at $92.33 on April 12.