Why Tesla will beat competition on auto pilot despite probe: analyst

Tesla AI

Tesla (TSLA) is ready to highlight its artificial intelligence technology tonight. The electric vehicle giant will be streaming Autonomy Day highlighting its self-driving capabilities.

The event also underscores the shortage of engineers which understand AI, according to Oppenheimer senior analyst Colin Rusch.

“Our understanding of what they’re doing tonight is not only showcasing the technology, but also using it as their recruiting event to bring people in,” Rusch told Yahoo Finance Live.

The company’s scale gives it an advantage over competitors when it comes to the learning cycle surrounding AI.

“Tesla is able to have over a million vehicles on the rode, approaching 2 million by year end. That’s really running the technology in shadow mode, and so the learning cycle is much faster for Tesla versus their competitors,” said Rusch.

“Level 4 and Level 5 in this technology is coming in advance of competitors,” he added

The event comes at a time when Tesla is under federal probe in relation to 11 incidents which caused 17 injuries and 1 fatality involving their vehicles’ autopilot technology.

“What we’ve seen is that the regulators are following the industry so far. I think that part of what’s happening is that the regulators are getting their feel on where this technology really is,” said the analyst. He also points out the vast amount of valuable data Tesla has for any given driving moment.

The probe hasn’t deterred Rusch from maintaining a $1080 price target on the stock.

“This company has done a tremendous job in disrupting the EV space and driving the industry towards sustainable transportation,” he said.

“The next leg in the stock is being driven by this autonomous technology,” he added.

“At the end of the day the market we’re looking at is about a dollar of driver value that can be captured. So when you think about a couple trillion miles being traveled here in North America alone, that’s a huge market and the fundamental basis for our price target,” he said.

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