Driverless Cars

Uncovering New Opportunities in Autonomous Vehicle Technology

It still might sound like science fiction, but driverless cars are already on the road around the world. While the leader of the pack, Google’s Waymo, has logged over 10 million autonomous miles, it’s not the only car driving itself around as of 2019.  Russia’s Yandex just announced that its self-driving cars have driven 1 million miles. And Tesla’s autopilot miles top 1.2 billion.

That’s a lot of ground covered.

And, it’s not just single-driver cars. Beep, an autonomous mobility solutions service, piloted a public self-driving shuttle earlier this year in Florida. And Beep, while unique because it’s public, isn’t alone.  Waymo officially joined California’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot program this past summer, allowing it to offer Waymo employees and their guests shuttle rides. Waymo is one of four companies in California, including AutoX, Pony.ai, and Zoox, that operates driverless vehicles. In addition to California, Pony.ai also operates out of a headquarters in Shanghai.

In other words, driverless car technology is in use from coast to coast and around the world.

What is a Driverless Car?

Although most of us are likely still driving our cars to work rather than reading a book or catching up on emails, it won’t be long until that’s no longer the case.  For instance, if you’ve recently purchased a car, you likely opted for the latest safety features— the automatic braking, the blind spot detection, parking assistance, and so on. And, if you did so, you aren’t alone. The increasing consumer adoption of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) is paving the road toward more full-featured autonomous technology.

Consumer buy-in of ADAS technologies also incentivizes car companies to invest their further development.  Hyundai, for example, recently announced plans to invest $35 billion in self-driving and electric vehicles. No company wants to be left behind in the race for fully autonomous vehicles, especially given the present consumer demand for ADAS features.

Beyond increased buy-in, the technology is also becoming less expensive for manufacturers, with the cost of light detection and ranging sensors dropping by a factor of ten over the last five years.

Why Invest in Driverless Cars?

All that said, the applications of driverless technologies are nearly endless, and they will be increasingly in-demand as traffic continues to plague growing metro areas and logistics costs rise.

One possibility for how the technology might show up in our day-to-day lives is the concept of robo-taxis. People have already adopted ride-sharing, priming consumers for easy adoption into this new driverless transport option. Uber is already working on this, securing $1 billion in funding earlier this year to work on its own self-driving cars.

A second possibility is platooning— using one vehicle that transports goods as the leader of one or more trucks doing the same. The lead truck, potentially with a driver, will provide the driverless trucks following it with predictability.

Even more, if driverless cars are mixed with infrastructure adaptations, it could lead to radically effective traffic solutions. According to a recent study published in Science Daily, driverless vehicles have the potential to improve overall traffic flow by at least 35%. One possibility is for congested cities to create a driverless car lane— like an HOV lane—that allows speeds higher than previously thought possible. Driverless technology can also be used to streamline public transportation.

How close is all of this today? Closer than many might think.

Researchers are continuing to help driverless cars improve their decision-making in edge cases, or situations that are not black and white. This might mean recognizing a pedestrian that’s carrying something large across the road or adjusting course when a pedestrian forgets something and quickly changes direction in the road.

But still, even though driverless vehicle technology faces challenges, the research dollars are hard at work and the technology is imminent. When it comes to society going driverless, it’s a matter of when, not if.

How to Invest in Driverless Car Technology

So what’s the best way for investors to get involved as autonomous technology starts to hit the mainstream? A search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of different ways to profit from the driverless trend as a whole.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.


Big Data

Big Opportunities in Big Data

We create an astonishing amount of data every day. From the photos we upload to social media, to the swipe of a card when we hop on the bus, the average person produces tremendous amounts of data at every turn. Delving into this collective ocean of data to find discrete patterns and trends may seem impossible, but innovative analytics are making it a reality thanks to Big Data.

Organizations across the globe are beginning to recognize the value in unlocking information imbedded in large, complex data sets.

Whether it’s hospitals using algorithms to catch infections early, researchers developing cutting-edge tools to map the furthest reaches of our universe, or the NHL deploying “smart pucks” to capture live data and enhance fan experience, our world is increasingly shaped by our relationship to data. Innovators at the leading edge of big data analytics stand to gain tremendously as technology improves and novel applications are discovered in the coming years.

[Invest in… Robotics]

For those interested in investing in this rapidly-growing sector, however, there are a few important points to understand.

What is Big Data?

Big Data refers to large, complex data sets that are difficult to process using traditional analytics. Included in this definition is the process of storing and analyzing the large, complex data sets.

According to IBM, a leader in big data analytics: “Analysis of big data allows analysts, researchers and business users to make better and faster decisions using data that was previously inaccessible or unusable. Businesses can use advanced analytics techniques such as text analytics, machine learning, predictive analytics, data mining, statistics and natural language processing to gain new insights from previously untapped data sources independently or together with existing enterprise data.”

[Climate change is one of the primary challenges of our time. Here’s how investors are supporting the technology that’s making a difference.]

And where does this data come from? Increasingly, it’s coming from internet-connected devices that we interact with every day. This growing network of sensors, relays and more is known as the Internet of Things (Iot).

Why Invest in Big Data?

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), global revenues for Big Data analytics are forecast to reach $189.1 billion in 2019, a 12.0% increase over 2018 revenues. IDC also predicts the annual growth rate increasing to 13.2% throughout the next five years, with 2022 revenue reaching $274.3 billion.

Focusing in on specific sectors, the trend becomes even more pronounced. The value of big data analytics in the healthcare sector is projected to grow at an annual rate of 19.1% between 2018 to 2025, and the value of big data analytics in law enforcement is projected to grow at an annual rate of 17.5% between 2015 and 2022.

Organizations of all sizes are investing in big data solutions to address challenges and increase competitive advantage.

In a recent survey of executives at industry-leading firms, 92% responded that they are accelerating the pace of investment in big data and AI. Analytics are also becoming more affordable, bringing the technology within the range of small and midsize businesses. According to the IDC, roughly one quarter of global revenues for big data analytics in 2019 will come from businesses with less than 500 employees.

And 2019 has already been marked by a number of notable acquisitions in the data analytics market. Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion on August 1, and Google is in the process of acquiring Looker for $2.6 billion.

As noted by Amir Orad, CEO of Sisense, a business analytics software company: “The value of the data analytics market can’t be ignored. The Looker and Tableau acquisitions demonstrate that even the biggest tech players are snapping up data analytics companies with big price tags, clearly demonstrating the value these companies have in the larger cloud ecosystem.”

In 2015, it was estimated that the possible value of intangible assets, including data, in the United States alone was roughly $8 trillion. As organizations increasingly come to view their data as capital, it will become more and more of a strategic imperative to put that capital to work.

This presents a unique opportunity for investment. As enterprises invest in big data analytics, so too should savvy investors consider the companies supplying the analytics.

How to Invest in Big Data

What’s the best way for investors to get involved in this growing tech sector? Big Data crosses over a number of different specialty areas, including cloud storage, data science and analytics, but a search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of different ways to profit from the big data trend as a whole.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.


Robotics

Investing in the Future of Robotics

For many people, the term “robot” brings up a lot of preconceived notions, ranging from the stereotypical humanoid robots of 1950s science fiction films, Luke Skywalker’s android companions from “Star Wars,” or even the friendly and loveable Wall-E. But the Hollywood version of robotics has always leaned heavily on the fiction side and light on the science.

In the popular imagination, they remain the types of machines that only exist in some far-off future timeline. But today’s robots are, in fact, more capable than ever. They’re being used in everything from automotive manufacturing, to heavy machinery, to logistics and supply chain handling, order picking, meat processing and much more. Anywhere there is a repetitive, isolated task, you’ll likely find industrial robots picking up at least some of the workload in order to free up their human coworkers for more complex, higher value tasks and protecting them for dangerous work.

According to the Robotic Industries Association, there were more than 250,000 robots in use in the United States as of 2017, mostly in the form of heavyweight “automated arms” that can be used to perform industrial tasks such as welding, painting or assembly. And their ranks are growing rapidly. The association also found that the North American robotics market grew 7.2% in the first half of 2019, with U.S. and Canadian companies ordering nearly 16,500 robots in that time, worth nearly $870 million.

Automotive manufacturers accounted for most of this growth, followed by the semiconductor and electronics industries, the life sciences, and food and consumer goods.  And this is the continuation of a trend that industry watchers have noticed since at least 2010. The ongoing trend toward automation, paired with new innovations in robot technology, have ushered in a golden age for robotics, driving record-setting sales across the industry and helping it grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2012 and 2017, according to the International Federation of Robotics.

Demand for robots is rising, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

What is Robotics?

In terms of specifics, the Oxford English Dictionary defines a robot as: “A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer.”  It is, in effect, a machine that can carry out physical tasks in the real world. Just as R2D2 and C3P0 in “Star Wars,” they can be programmed to function both alongside and in place of human labor.

But none of this is particularly new.  Industrial robots have been commonplace in workplaces around the world for decades. In fact, the industry traces its roots back to an industrial robot named Unimate, which was installed on a General Motors assembly line in New Jersey in 1961, tasked with moving die castings from an adjacent assembly line and welding them onto automotive body panels. Its work helped save its human counterparts from a dangerous and labor-intensive job.

Since then, robots have only become more capable.

The robotics industry today is considered an interdisciplinary branch of both engineering and science that brings together a wide range of different specialties and skills in the production, development and maintenance of robot machines. This typically includes the work of mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, computer scientists, artificial intelligence experts and more, to “oversee the design, construction, operation, and use of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing.”

Why Invest in Robotics?

In short, we’re still just scratching the surface of what is possible in robotics.
Advancements in Artificial Intelligence are leading to smarter, more capable robots; miniaturization is shrinking the size of these machines dramatically, opening them up to vast new markets and applications; and of course the continuing trend of falling prices across all hardware segments due to modern efficiencies means robots are becoming available to far more buyers than ever before.

According to Mordor Intelligence, a market research firm: “The robotics market was valued at USD 31.78 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 25% over the forecast period of 2019-2024. In the past decade, industrial robots used to be high priced, due to which, the ROI is expected to be achieved after a decade. However, presently, smaller collaborative robots are priced for companies to receive ROI in months, instead of decades, often costing around USD 20,000. Declining sensor prices and increasing adoption have further aided lower costs.”

How to Invest in Robotics

But how can investors get involved in this growth opportunity for modern robotics? A search on Magnifi suggests that there are a number of different ways to profit in robotics, including ETFs, thematic funds and more.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.


Fintech

Uncovering New Opportunities in Fintech

The banking and finance industries don’t have great reputations when it comes to innovation. And why should they? Their products and services – including both personal and commercial banking, lending, advising and investment services – are tried and true businesses, having stood the test of time and returned profits for generations.

Frankly, for many years there was no good reason for finance to try new things.  But that’s changing, and the age of technology-driven financial services has officially arrived. It’s changing how and where we bank, how consumers borrow and even how assets are transferred internationally.  Legacy institutions like JPMorgan are on board, investors are pumping billions into the space and, as of 2018, there were 39 VC-backed unicorns in fintech worth a total of $147 billion.  For those interested in investing in this fast-growing sector, however, there are a few details to understand first.

What is Fintech?

At the highest level, financial technology – aka fintech – refers to the application of digital and online technologies to the banking and financial services industries.  But that means far more than just mobile access to your checking account.

According to the World Bank, the industry is: “creating new opportunities and challenges for the financial sector – from consumers, to financial institutions, to regulators. Fintech offers many opportunities for governments, from making their financial systems more efficient and competitive to broadening access to financial services for the under-served populations.”

Why Invest in Fintech?

As mentioned, the industry is growing very rapidly.  According to a 2018 report from Deloitte, a total of 668 fintech companies were founded in 2014, the high watermark to date, encompassing those working on technologies for Banking & Capital Markets, Investment Management, Insurance and Real Estate. And, although that growth has slowed in recent years, an increasing amount of venture capital investment is finding its way to larger, more established companies than in the early days, indicative of a mature market coming into its own.  And there’s room for this trend to continue.  After all, the total market cap of the fintech sector as of today is less than $300 billion, and PayPal accounts for $123 billion of that total. That might sound like a lot, but when you consider the fact that the traditional finance industry has a market cap in the range of $68 trillion USD worldwide, according to The World Bank, it becomes clear that fintech still has a lot of room to grow.

And it makes sense. To date, we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the many ways that technology can and will disrupt traditional financial services. We’re now living in a world of digital payments, mobile services and even virtual currencies, but we’re about to enter an era of real, personalized automation that has to-date been impossible.

How to Invest in Fintech

Given all of this opportunity for growth, let’s look at a few ways to invest directly in the fintech sector. After all, the majority of the fintech companies out there today are still private and closed off to most investors. But a search on Magnifi suggests that there are other ways to profit off of the growth of this red-hot new industry.

Magnifi is changing the way we shop for investments, with the world’s first semantic search engine for finance that helps users discover, compare and buy investment products such as ETFs, mutual funds and stocks. Try it for yourself today.

 

This blog is sponsored by Magnifi. The information and data are as of the publish date unless otherwise noted and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individualized investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities tailored to your needs. This information covers investment and market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic or market conditions and should not be construed as investment research or advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content may not be reproduced or distributed to any person in whole or in part without the prior written consent of Magnifi. [As a technology company, Magnifi provides access to tools and will be compensated for providing such access. Magnifi does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.