Morgan Stanley Thinks Apple Should Look To Tesla For Self-Driving Data

5 months ago by Steven Loveday 7

Tesla

A self-driving Model X with new enhanced hardware was demonstrated by Tesla in October

Apple is once again opening up about self-driving pursuits, but the tech company lacks real-world driving data, like that of Tesla, and may never actually make it own cars.

Can Apple pull off the high-level artificial intelligence needed for autonomous driving, by simply “strapping” its equipment on vehicles and running tests? Can virtual reality simulations iron out all the bugs? Or, is a whole fleet of cars accumulating a significant amount of miles on public roads a necessity?

Apple autonomous test vehicles have been spotted on public roads on numerous occasions.

Uber, Waymo, and Tesla all believe that racking up fleet miles in real-world situations is paramount. Tesla is regularly touting its billions of miles of Autopilot driving data. Apple recently made some requests of the California department of motor vehicles, pertaining to autonomous vehicle testing guidelines and specifics. What is the company’s agenda? It seems we may never know, and once we think we know, everything changes.

Morgan Stanley financial analyst, Adam Jonas, believes that Apple should hook up with Tesla, or even make a full-fledged attempt to acquire the Silicon Valley electric automaker. Just Tesla’s self-driving data alone should be enough to lure Apple, according to Jonas. He asserts that Apple will spend $16 billion in R & D costs over the next four years  to work out the kinks in its autonomous technology. Meanwhile, Tesla is much further ahead in the game, and Jonas believes the electric automaker will only spend one quarter of that figure. He shared in a note to clients (via Teslarati):

“Each 1% share of the miles market at $1/mile (including the transport service and any related/ancillary revenue) is worth $200bn in revenue and potentially tens of billions of pretax profit.”

This is not the first time the proposition has been brought to light by various sources. Not long ago, Jonas asked Musk if the Apple/Tesla partnership or merger might ever become a reality. Musk responded (via Teslarati):

“I don’t think they want to have that conversation — there’s not been any indication that they do. But obviously, Apple’s company makes some great product … I use their phone and their laptop, it’s cool. I don’t know what they’re going to do on the car front.”

Source: Teslarati

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7 responses to "Morgan Stanley Thinks Apple Should Look To Tesla For Self-Driving Data"

  1. unlucky says:

    Tesla has no good reason to share their data with Apple.

    So it’s not going to happen unless Apple buys Tesla.

    1. La Freenia di Mamata says:

      Agreed. I think hell will freeze over before this happens.

  2. Taylor S Marks says:

    I can see Tesla being willing to sell that data to Apple for several $B. That would nicely give Tesla the money they need to ramp up, without surrendering any control of the company.

    They’d be helping a company that might be a rival in a decade, but it seems likely that would happen anyways.

  3. Someone out there says:

    Apple buying Tesla for the autonomous features doesn’t make much sense. Tesla already have their own system, what is Apple going to do with that? They can’t cancel it because Tesla has already promised a working solutions to their customers that bought the car on that promise. So would Apple instead cancel their own system? Then what would be the point of buying Tesla? Additionally, I don’t think Apple wants the hassle of selling cars, that brings a whole other set of headaches.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if all the repeated suggestions that Apple will, or should, buy out Tesla Inc. are just stock pumping schemes.

    It never made any sense to suggest that Apple might want to get into the business of making cars; makers of high profit margin consumer electronics have no motive to jump into a capital-intensive heavy industry with low profit margins!

    And it wouldn’t make any sense for Apple to buy out Tesla just to get mapping data, especially with Tesla’s almost insanely high market cap (total value of outstanding stock).

    If Apple were to buy out a company that’s developing self-driving technology and is already doing detailed scanning/mapping of roads, then it would make far more sense to buy out Waymo. Buying out Tesla just to get the self-driving data would be like buying an entire supermarket because you wanted a bag of candy!

    Besides, Tesla might well be willing to enter into some sort of arrangement with Apple. Perhaps Apple could sell sensor systems to Tesla at a discount in exchange for Tesla giving Apple some or all the data it’s collecting by scanning roads.

  5. Roy_H says:

    Makes no sense. The data would only be relevant to Apple if the hardware was similar.

  6. Chris O says:

    Thinks Adam Jones, the clown that predicted that Tesla will only sell 2000 model 3’s this year? HMM, that guy’s credibility is about the run out, better not quote him any more.

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