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The Future of Transport is Autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service

November 30, 2017
4 min read
By: Tasha Keeney, CFA

The future of transport is autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Spanning from personal MaaS, where autonomous taxi platforms will make point to point travel cheaper, more convenient, and even safer to Logistics-as-a-Service – where autonomous electric trucks and drones will deliver goods for a fraction of today’s cost. Watch our video below to hear ARK Industrial Innovation Analyst, Tasha Keeney, explain more.

How will Personal MaaS be Cheaper and More Convenient?

Autonomous taxi networks should offer ridesharing services at about $0.35 per mile due to much higher utilization rates, this is roughly half of what car owners pay to drive their vehicles today. Thanks to these compelling economics, consumers likely will stop buying personal cars and migrate into the autonomous mobility as a service market.

When is the MaaS Transformation Happening?

Now! The technology is progressing faster than ever. Autonomous taxi services could be commercially available by 2017. Waymo announced it could offer fully autonomous taxi services with no driver in Phoenix, Arizona as soon as this year. Likewise, GM announced it could offer fully driverless vehicles within the year, and Tesla plans to release software that will enable all a fully autonomous drive across the U.S. by the end of 2017. We believe by the late 2020s, autonomous taxis should be the dominant form of door-to-door mobility.

What Does this Mean for You and Me?

Consumers should be the ultimate beneficiaries of these innovations. Imagine spending less than $6 getting to the airport, instead of $70, which is what it would cost today in a taxi;[1] Or ordering a package online and having it delivered in less than an hour for just $1.00. Also, take non-driving populations, such as the blind and elderly. They will now have the freedom to get around at their convenience.

So, How Big is the MaaS Opportunity?

ARK believes that investors may be undervaluing MaaS severely today. In just five years autonomous taxi networks could command a market capitalization of over $5 trillion dollars.[2] China likely will be one of the largest markets for MaaS and autonomous taxi services could subsume personal car ownership in developing countries.

Finally, Who Will Benefit from the Commercial Opportunity?

Automakers and technology companies with artificial intelligence expertise, manufacturing capacity, and ridesharing partnerships may be first to launch autonomous taxi platforms. These firms should capture natural geographic monopolies and capitalize on this potentially multi-trillion-dollar market opportunity. Consequently, not all automakers will survive. Companies investing significant resources into autonomous MaaS include GM, Toyota, Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Softbank, and others.

Automakers, truck manufacturers, defense firms, and tech companies that are able to transform into autonomous platform providers stand to win out. ARK believes autonomous platform providers should be valued at roughly nine times more than traditional automakers. We saw similar value-transitions within the tech industry. Initially, hardware companies dominated, but as the industry developed, software companies were able to monopolize and accrue value. 

Autonomous MaaS could become one of the most valuable investment opportunities in public equity markets in the next five to ten years. So, get ready and take advantage of disruptive innovation.

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