Multiple industry sources are telling me that Seeing Machines’ Fovio technology is so advanced compared to rival systems that it is set to dominate the global auto market for DMS.
This market is growing fast and last year was estimated by ABI Research to be around 65m cars a year by 2020. Although I personally think this figure is now likely to prove an underestimate, given the fact that a driver monitoring system is becoming a standard feature in forthcoming car models. This trend is being driven (I love my puns) by increasing autonomy in cars, higher safety standards and legislation to reduce road deaths caused by driver inattention and drowsiness.
By my calculations, just using the 65m figure for 2020: Fovio will have at least 75% of that. As Seeing Machines (SEE) gets approximately US$25 for each car that uses its Fovio chip it should obtain annual revenues from autos of US$1.2bn.
How can I be so sure of this 75%+ figure?
Ford, Volvo and Audi
Admittedly, it is an estimate. But based on research.
I’m being told that Fovio will soon be contracted to Ford, Volvo and Audi. (That’s in addition to General Motors, Mercedes and BMW). Moreover, those same sources are telling me that by the end of this calendar year Toyota will definitely be committed to using it and, most likely, Honda.
Don’t expect absolute confirmation immediately. When they are eventually announced these contracts will be released as nameless wins, contracts for ‘premium’, ‘mass market’ country-specific OEMs. Seeing Machines will also have to be very conservative about the revenues forecast.
For those who know Seeing Machines as a perennial disappointment, a ‘jam-tomorrow’ stock, I urge them to look again at its growing dominance in the global automotive sector. This dominance in DMS now rivals that of Mobileye in external auto vision.
If you don’t believe a dumb ‘ol journalist, maybe a super smart fund manager may make you look again at Seeing Machines?
Max Ward, Manager of The Independent Investment Trust, recently took a 4.46% stake in SEE. I wanted to know why and he kindly furnished me with the answer: “What attracted me to the business is the scale of the potential in the automotive division together with the evidence of clear market leadership in the DMS field.”
Previously, SEE successfully flew beneath the radar. This was partly helped by its not having a PR agency in London, the harsh non-disclosure terms prevalent in the auto industry and the fact it was an AIM-listed minnow.
Fortunately, all that hasn’t prevented the global auto industry rushing to knock on its doors as increasing automation and safety concerns have led to tightening regulation, making its Fovio technology a vital ‘must have’ feature in future car models.
Now, at last, Seeing Machines is about to have the spotlight focused directly upon it. For dominance in global DMS makes it a very attractive strategic acquisition for big industry players.
Just as Mobileye was snapped up by Intel for US$15.3bn, Seeing Machines is likely to be bought fairly soon.
Indeed, I believe numerous companies now have Seeing Machines in their sights as a target this year. Who will pull the trigger first, I wonder? Names that have been mentioned to me recently include: Intel, Nvidia, Xilinx, Autoliv and Bosch.
Let the takeover battle begin.
The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.