Seeing Machines wins A$21m Japanese auto contract

Seeing Machines has won its first Japanese car manufacturer, rumoured to be Honda, in a deal initially worth A$21m (US$14.6m). The cars will go into production in 2025.

The actual headline figure for the win is highly conservative and is likely to end up many times bigger as the car manufacturer rolls out the technology across an ever-increasing number of models. This is what happened with BMW, Ford and Mercedes and I’m confident it will repeat here. 

Japan turns to Seeing Machines

The really important learning from this win is that SEE has finally cracked Japan, after years of hard work. Marc Bunce, an analyst at broker Cenkos, says: “We believe today’s win is a first step into the Japanese market and that the cost and performance advantages of Seeing Machines software and embedded systems approach, will enable it to win further business with Japanese OEMs.”

Hence, this will prove to be the first of many contracts with Japanese car companies that will confirm Seeing Machines position as the global leader in driver/occupant monitoring (DMS/OMS).

SEE already has a confirmed (conservative) auto pipeline of US$240m, although in all likelihood it is likely to be double that. As Bunce explains: “The ‘cumulative initial lifetime value’ of these award wins now up to A$345m/US$240m which we believe is predominantly based on conservative minimum production commitments for initial vehicle models. However, with actual production volumes usually much greater than minimum commitments, and the technology already being seen on models beyond the initial award win, we believe the likely lifetime value of these awards is already considerably larger.”

Global leadership

It’s now clear, as predicted here 4 years ago, that Seeing Machines is set to take over 75% of the global DMS market. Ironically, it seems that the market has de-rated its main rival Smart Eye based on this assumption without re-rating Seeing Machines. It is a position that, while frustrating to those holding the share, can’t last much longer.

Seeing Machines very dominance is the reason I don’t believe it will be allowed to remain independent much longer. With every auto contract won the importance of Seeing Machines to Qualcomm’s ambitions in the auto market become more obvious. Given that Qualcomm was keen to swoop on Arriver I expect the time is approaching when Christiano Amon will again reach for his wallet to try and secure the global leader in DMS/OMS.

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview, in which he discussed Qualcomm’s diversification strategy. He confirmed, after boasting of its US$16bn auto revenue pipeline and talking about the Arriver purchase: “Clearly M&A is going to be part of Qualcomm as we accelerate those non-handset businesses.”

With SEE’s auto-win rate increasing the prospect of an actual A$1bn pipeline isn’t very far away. If you also include revenues from its fast-expanding Fleet and Aviation divisions, Seeing Machines is a must-have for a chip company that wants to diversify its revenue stream.

SEE is almost totally de-risked, with earning visibility becoming clearer every month. The future cashflows from auto, fleet and aviation are going to be huge. Moreover, with the continuing investment in its intellectual property to ensure its systems remain far ahead of any rival, it has created a strong moat to fight off any would-be competitors for the foreseeable future.

Takeover target

By the end of its current financial year, all this should be clear to even the most sceptical investor but to savvy industry players, such as Cristiano Amon, it must be obvious now. Amon doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who would ever allow a competitor to eat his lunch – as Magna can bear witness.

Only Alphabet, Apple or Amazon would have the financial muscle to separate Qualcomm from its intended target. I’d add in Tesla as a wild card. Elon Musk loves pulling surprises and Tesla needs a decent DMS. Instead of blowing tens of billions creating an in-house solution he might just wake up one morning and decide to buy SEE.

Blue sky valuation?

As to valuation? Well, I’d value Seeing Machines’ Auto division at US$5bn minimum, Fleet about the same. Aviation isn’t as advanced but it’s a huge market that it is developing, so say US$2bn. In total, its intrinsic value is approximately US$10-12bn today.

Alternatively, If someone has the nous to offer 50p a share and SEE accept, well done. In 2 years they could probably float the company for 5x to 10x that. 

Some will doubtless say I’m talking nonsense. But the same naysayers said that 4 years ago when I predicted Seeing Machines would grab a 75% share of the global DMS market.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines

Growing broker coverage for Seeing Machines

Seeing Machines is picking up more broker coverage from quality analysts as it nears an inflection point from growing license fee income from autos and trucks. Berenberg today issued an initiation note with a ‘Buy’ recommendation and a price target of 12p, while Peel Hunt has also tipped SEE. 

Berenberg 12p target

While Berenberg’s price target is quite conservative, the arguments and conclusions contained within the note were reassuring as they confirmed that:

  • Seeing Machines has the “best-in-class DMS technology among peers”.
  • Aftermarket (Fleet) product is a hidden gem. “Guardian…is considered a top product by customers such as Shell, Caterpillar and National Express, who say it has significantly reduced their traffic accidents and cut their transport insurance premiums.”
  • Stellar growth from auto license fees is a near certainty. “As we expect royalty revenues to more than double yoy from 2022E up until 2025E (c113% CAGR), we see an inflection point for the OEM business and for SEE. To top it off, all the revenue projected up until 2024 has already been awarded (ie as long as the cars are manufactured, SEE will hit these revenue forecasts).” 

This extract from the Berenberg note is worth quoting at length:

OEM business (c60% of 2025E sales) at an inflection point: SEE receives royalty revenue each time a car using its DMS technology is produced. We expect this revenue to more than double every year from 2022E to 2025E (c113% CAGR) based mostly on contracts already awarded. This is, however, assuming just a 33% win rate for SEE and a c25% drop in per-car royalty revenue over 2022-25E. Our channel checks provide a high level of confidence that the group has unparalleled DMS technology, with capabilities to power other smart car features as well (eg occupant monitoring), which along with the regulatory tailwinds mandating DMS should bring about an inflection point for the group’s OEM business. In a blue-sky scenario where SEE has a higher win rate (60% by 2025E) and maintains pricing power (by releasing more features), we see c65%/95% upside to our 2025E group base-case top-line/gross profit estimates. With SEE winning 46% of recent bids, the blue-sky scenario is within reach.”

Note that in its base case for 2025, Berenberg has sales at A$137m and gross profit at A$84m.

In the blue-sky case, Berenberg has sales at A$225m and gross profit at A$163m.

Personally, I expect upward revisions to this very soon as my base case is 70%.

Peel Hunt tips Seeing Machines

Separately, Peel Hunt analysts in their regular ‘Tech: Bits & Bytes’ note recommended Seeing Machines as “a pick-and-shovel play for the smartification of transport”.  

They added: “Seeing Machines is finally starting to see non-NRE OEM revenue’s come through. As the OEM engagements evolve, ARM-like high margin royalty revenue streams should unlock for Seeing Machines.”

Seeing Machines now has broker coverage from Stifel (house), Cenkos, Panmure Gordon and Berenberg, while it is clear that Peel Hunt is clearly following the story closely. As Seeing Machines picks up more auto contracts and grows fleet, not to mention Aviation (and possibly starts to move into other markets, such as marine), I believe this will re-rate. 

Yes, SEE is well down with market jitters. Yet, I’m more convinced than ever that Seeing Machines is likely to be the subject of a bid within the next few months. There is no need for it to show a profit as the coming revenues and profits are clearly coming as license fees ramp up.

Ukraine

As to Ukraine, I think there is scope for negotiation that will reduce tension provided the US and NATO stop trying to bully Russia in its own backyard, using Ukraine as a stick (though that stick got a bit smaller yesterday). Tariq Ali has written great analysis in the New Left Review that puts the recent moves in perspective – though you won’t see him being interviewed on any mainstream media news outlet in the UK.

I’m certainly concerned about a proper stock market crash later this year, as inflation concerns give way to deflation and the growing realisation that only debt is holding the wider stock market up. So Seeing Machines, my advice is to get the deal done by June.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Seeing Machines wins Volvo

As predicted here a couple of years ago, the likelihood that Seeing Machines’ driver monitoring system will be a core safety feature in Volvo’s electric SUV successor to the XC90 now appears overwhelming. Rumour has it that it will be called the Volvo Embla but that hasn’t been officially confirmed, as yet.

The news from Volvo itself that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit Platform will be used in Volvo’s “upcoming fully electric SUV” is the clearest indication yet that Seeing Machines has effectively won the brand in the home country of its closest competitor to date. 

I’m sure that, eventually, the Volvo win will be confirmed by all the interested parties but there is clearly some reluctance on the part of Volvo to discuss these matters in detail currently.

Coming on the back of the huge VW win only a month ago, some might expect Seeing Machines to rest on its laurels. However, I’m expecting very positive news in Fleet to accompany, possibly even precede, a series of spectacular auto wins over the next few months.

Of course, I could be wrong so it is important to do your own research.

Roy Holehouse

If I am right, and you make some money out of it, please consider giving a donation to the Roy Holehouse fund. He sadly passed away this week but I’m sure his family would appreciate any help during a terrible time.

Here’s the link to the page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/f3u5cw-a-helping-hand?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet Thanks.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Seeing Machines destroys the myth of agnostic DMS

In a seminal White Paper published yesterday, Seeing Machines destroyed the myth that agnostic software can compete with its optimised and dedicated offerings. That’s why I am extremely confident it will win take at least 75 per cent of all auto contracts going forward through partnerships with Qualcomm, OmniVision, Ambarella, Xilinx and a host of Tier 1s.

In the White Paper, entitled: ‘The DMS Embedding Challenge’ its 3 authors; Timothy Edwards – Co-Founder of Seeing Machines, Rodney Stewart, Strategic Advisor and former Chief Engineer, and Alif Wahid, Senior Staff Core Technology Architect, explained at length how and why its technology is better than any of its competitors for Driver Monitoring.

In so doing it sets out the value of SEE’s IP and its approach in a way that those who truly understand the technicalities will certainly appreciate. I only wish I had the brains to totally understand it all — still, it is pretty accessible.

We can now be sure that all the talk of ‘software agnostic solutions’ from its competitors is nonsense. As it states: “The prevailing idea that any DMS supplier is able to offer highly compute-intensive product solutions in a software-only form, and be agnostic to the architectural differences in industry-leading System-on-Chips (SoCs), whilst also being commercially competitive, is a fallacy”.

I, therefore, don’t expect these competitors to win important contracts going forwards. That certainly isn’t priced into Seeing Machines share price, nor that of those competitors.

Another extract, detailing the possibilities of this technology for assessing human intention and state blew my mind — but then I do have a very vivid imagination!

“Despite being designed and built from the ground up for DMS solutions, the Occula NPU design when married with Seeing Machines DMS algorithm stack, may offer performance advantages to a far wider range of products – any product that is (i) price or power sensitive, and (ii) can yield an advantage from understanding contextual information about humans. We leave it to the reader to imagine the possibilities.”

As the industry and market analysts digest this White Paper I can certainly picture Qualcomm CEO Christiano Amon telling someone to run and get his chequebook, although he will have to be quick: “Looking ahead to the future possibilities in this segment of the automotive market, and also fanning out to other industries that adopt DMS technology as a matter of necessity – we see opportunities emerging for pushing the cutting edge of this technology much further. We have a world class team to exploit those opportunities, thanks to our deep knowledge and skills (spanning the full stack from top to bottom) when it comes to designing DMS products.”

It’s those possibilities that will ensure that Seeing Machines list of admirers must by now include the likes of Alphabet, Amazon and Apple.

Well done Seeing Machines!

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Desperate stuff from Redeye

This week’s note on Smart Eye (SEYE) from a Redeye analyst was disappointing and, quite frankly, unfair to investors who mistakenly believe it’s the leader in driver monitoring (or, as it might now term it, ‘interior sensing’). It isn’t. 

Perhaps desperation at the fall in Smart Eye’s share price following the Volkswagen (VW) win by Seeing Machines has prompted this latest attempt to maintain the myth that Smart Eye is the market leader. However, any sober analysis leads one to question this.

Smart Eye’s recent moves on the acquisition front are evidence for me of its late realisation that it can’t compete on the DMS/OMS front with Seeing Machines, proven by its recent failure to win VW.

Furthermore, I think SEYE has overstated the value of its wins to date, while Seeing Machines has understated its own 8 OEM wins. For example, One of Smart Eye’s early wins was with BMW, but it has since been supplanted by Seeing Machines. VW and Mercedes have also gone with Seeing Machines. Do you see a pattern?

In the US, General Motors, Ford and FCA (now part of Stellantis) chose Seeing Machines. Similarly, Fisker and Byton chose Seeing Machines. 

The much-vaunted early Audi design wins back in 2017 by SmartEye have also failed to go fully into production, as has the Jaguar Land Rover win a few years back. Redeye naively assumes that they have been temporarily postponed. As the analyst states on page 5 of this note published on 9th May, 2021: “Smart Eye says it has still not lost any design wins, but some are postponed for external reasons.” Let me suggest that those wins have been lost, as the auto companies concerned realise Seeing Machines’ technology is more advanced.

Importantly, the VW and Fisker wins indicate that Seeing Machines is not only the leader in DMS but is also winning as car manufacturers seek to build in occupant monitoring systems and move to interior sensing. Yes, Smart Eye can talk the talk re. Occupant Monitoring but the only cars currently going into production with OMS have a Seeing Machines system.

A further indication of SEE’s leadership position is evident from the fact that Qualcomm chose to partner only with Seeing Machines. Similarly, Magna has chosen to use Seeing Machines technology. 

My research indicates that Smart Eye’s “pure software” model effectively means that it is treated like a commodity and doesn’t really gain the respect of the Tier 1s whereas, in sharp contrast, Seeing Machines is acknowledged as the expert in DMS/OMS. After all, OMS is effectively only DMS with more occupants. And Seeing Machines leads the way in DMS.

What that means is that OEMs are far less likely to take a chance on Smart Eye for big programmes delivered to short timescales, especially when high-level DMS will be make or break in achieving 5 star NCAP ratings from 2024. It is simply too important for them in a fiercely competitive market to take a chance. For example, imagine the pain that Renault recently experienced at the hands of Euro NCAP, receiving 0 stars for shoddy safety in its Zoe. Such an event must be concentrating minds at car manufacturers around the world. 

That’s why I think Seeing Machines is going to clean up in the DMS/OMS market. Okay, Smart Eye will win a few Chinese models and low volume models elsewhere but for premium and large volume RFQs I don’t expect it to win any of note. 

A further problem for Smart Eye may also be that QC is set to take away its Chinese lunch in due course, supplying Seeing Machines technology as part of its system.

Of course, I may be wrong or, perhaps, my investing in Seeing Machines has affected my judgement.

Well, here’s a little test. Back on 22nd October, 2021 the Redeye analyst wrote: “Three of the largest DMS procurements to date will be completed within next few quarters – where ‘Smart Eye is a force to be reckoned with in all three’. Though we don’t know what this means, we believe Smart Eye is confident of getting at least one or two of these”.

Well, one of them has been completed and it wasn’t Smart Eye that won it. I’m confident that Seeing Machines will win those other two in this financial year, as well as a host of others this year and next. 

Fleet

I’m expecting great things from Seeing Machines’ Max Verberne and his team in fleet, similar to what Nick DiFiore and his team have achieved in auto.

I’m therefore confident that 2022 is set to be a transformational year in fleet for Seeing Machines. Despite the fact it already has approximately 32,000 fleet installations, the pipeline is rapidly expanding, 40% annual growth in revenues is expected. The Shell deal is huge and offers the potential for many thousands of installations each year, National Express is also in the process of rolling out Guardian tech to its enlarged fleet following the acquisition of Stagecoach. That target market represents approximately 40,000 badged as National Express, with approximately 10,000 more belonging to  contractors.

Moreover, such is the potential for driver monitoring as part of an overall control system that it is clear this is only the beginning of a global ramp up in sales. Seeing Machines is only scratching the surface of the potential within telematics with its current partnerships. Europe and the US will be screaming out for this technology as regulations tighten and companies seek to improve both safety and reduce emissions. This will all become apparent as we hear more about the introduction of its 3rd Generation fleet product.

In contrast, SmartEye is ‘pre-revenue’ with a fleet operation that only launched in March 2021, with 20 staff. It had a ‘pilot projects’ operational in July and I look forward to hearing about some meaningful revenues one day soon.

Aviation

Smart Eye is even further behind in aviation. To the extent that even Redeye doesn’t want to talk about it. Suffice to say that it has yet to fly in Aviation.

By comparison, Seeing Machines’ Pat Nolan is airborne, and charting a course for a smooth landing on profit central. Take, for example, the recent agreement with Collins Aerospace, which is the world’s largest Tier 1 avionics company.

In addition, via CAE and L3 Harris, Seeing tech is already in simulators used by Quantas and the Royal Australian Air Force. It is also working with Airservices Australia to use its technology within Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Summary

In summary, not only does Seeing Machines lead in auto, it is far ahead of any competitor in fleet and the only player in aviation. Too little, too late, sums up Smart Eye’s offering in both fleet and aviation. 

I expect the next second half of this financial year to confirm the pre-eminence of Seeing Machines in all three transport sectors. Seeing Machines’ ever-growing pipeline will make this very clear, very soon.

Yes, Smart Eye does have significant value and potential. However, in my humble opinion, it could be an expensive mistake for an investor to presume it is in the same league as Seeing Machines. Of course, any investor should do their own research.

Full-year results for both companies should bear out what I have stated here. In the end, the acid test for both is the visibility of increasing revenues and profitability. If I am correct, Seeing Machines should impress on the upside and Smart Eye will fail to match that.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Seeing Machines wins A$125m Volkswagen contract

Seeing Machines (AIM: SEE) has announced that it has won an initial A$125m contract with a ‘leading German automaker’, confirmed by broker Cenkos and rival Smarteye’s own analyst, as the Volkswagen Group. 

This VW Group includes many well-known car marques: Audi, Porsche, Skoda, SEAT, Lamborghini, as well as Volkswagen.

It’s a win that has was first predicted here and confirms the view expressed back then that Seeing Machines is the ‘King of DMS’ (or should that be interior sensing?) with SmartEye a long way behind. The reason I say interior sensing is that SEE will deliver its FOVIO Driver and Occupant Monitoring System (OMS) for cars hitting the road in 2024.

Given that A$125m is only the initial lifetime value, and historically the initial amount is eventually revised upwards, I expect the actual lifetime amount will be multiples of this. However, that will depend on successful deployment over a number of years. 

Apparently, Seeing Machines now has an auto-order pipeline of roughly A$325m with 8 OEMs. Yet, with another A$1bn of RFQs still being finalised, I consider it very likely that Seeing Machines’ order pipeline will reach A$1bn in 2022.

It’s news that will dismay all its competitors, particularly Smarteye. Indeed, some investors in Smarteye appear to be abandoning ship as the share price is down 12% as I write. However, the smarter ones may be swimming towards Seeing Machines on today’s news.

I’m expecting a lot more positive news announcements from Seeing Machines over the next 2-3 weeks that should produce broker upgrades, so bookmark this website.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines

Mobileye IPO is positive for Seeing Machines

News that Intel plans to float Mobileye for around US$50bn in 2022 is very positive for Seeing Machines in a number of ways.

Intel a possible bidder for Seeing Machines?

Firstly, it would provide Intel with funds to take over Seeing Machines, which is the leading global player in the driver monitoring/occupant monitoring space. Intel would gain additional revenue lines in aviation and other transport verticals. It would also stymie Qualcomm’s strategy of dominating interior sensing within auto. 

Even if the acquisition turned out a mixed success for Intel, it could do what is plans to do with Mobileye; IPO it a few years later for multiples of that value. Remember Intel paid $15bn for Mobileye and that acquisition has arguably turned out to be a very mixed blessing.

Presssure on Qualcomm to bid increases

A further positive for Seeing Machines is that the timing of Intel’s move increases the pressure on Qualcomm to make a bid for Seeing Machines, while the former’s hegemony in DMS/OMS is still rumour not fact. By June 2022 multiple wins in auto DMS/OMS will be known to all market participants and Seeing Machines market value will have risen significantly. 

By acting soon, on its knowledge of guaranteed wins by Seeing Machines that have not yet been officially signed, Qualcomm could save itself billions and avoid a strategic denouement at the hands of Intel. 

Yes, Qualcomm would have to come up with at least US$5bn but that is a relative bargain, given that Seeing Machines profits from fleet, auto and aviation would earn that back by 2030.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines

Seeing Machines throws down the gauntlet

Last week Seeing Machines threw down the gauntlet to would-be competitors and those hoping to acquire it on the cheap. Broker Cenkos responded by raising its price target to 19.5p.

At its full-year results presentation on Wednesday, it reaffirmed solid progress over the past year. This followed news earlier that week of a US$41m ‘strategic’ fundraise. The money raised will finance costly R&D efforts as it seeks to capture 75% plus of the global driver monitoring market, increase it share of the trucking market and expand further into aviation.

In a pretty frank presentation CEO Paul McGlone made it pretty clear that Seeing Machines intends to grab a dominant market share in auto over the next 6 months before any move to seek a dual Nasdaq listing. My reading is that Qualcomm now needs to open its wallet wider than it has ever done to acquire Seeing Machines.

Risk of cheap bid is over

Let me say that again. The risk of a cheap bid is over. US funds coming in at 11p aren’t doing so to make a measly 5x their money. In my estimation, as the market wises up to Seeing Machines taking over 75 percent of the global DMS market, anything below £1 a share is not going to secure Seeing Machines.

As proof of that is the news that Mirametrix, which uses AI for computer vision applications, was reportedly sold for a huge multiple. Seeing Machines is, in my opinion, worth far more.

The recent A$140m contract with Tier 1 Magna (which also invested £10m in Seeing Machines) should serve as a wake-up call to investors and rivals alike. There will be plenty more wins over the next few months.

My central thesis; that SEE win Toyota, Honda, VW (including Audi), Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis and Tesla in addition to BMW, Mercedes, Ford, GM, Byton and Fisker remains very much intact. Why? Because as far as driver/occupant monitoring goes, Seeing Machines is pretty much the only game in town.

Sadly for investors, these contracts take time to officially sign and partners are, for a variety of reasons, not keen to provide too many details. Yet, growing auto revenues from license fees tell its own story. They are projected to keep on growing as the company wins more and more business. By the end of this financial year, we’ve been promised much greater clarity on an auto pipeline that I expect will be worth a billion Australian dollars.

In the meantime, with Covid concerns growing alongside the realisation that the global economy isn’t recovering as it should, there will be ups and downs in the share price. Still, the direction of the business is clear: it is taking over global DMS.

Of course, I fully expect Seeing Machines to continue to downplay the potential size of contract wins, even as it announces them. For as Cenkos analyst John-Marc Bunce confirmed in his note of 24th November: “Seeing Machines has been underplaying the value of its RFQ wins and relationships to increase its chance of winning more business.”

Even so, after the penny drops in automotive, I expect a bidding war will materialise — though Qualcomm is currently the hot favourite to win it.

Show me the money Qualcomm!

I don’t know when Qualcomm will bid for Seeing Machines but I doubt it will wait until the success of Seeing Machines is public knowledge. At the moment it has a slight edge, not to mention a huge wallet, but the fact that Magna is making subtle overtures must be unsettling. 

Maybe I’ve had a little too much port, but the present scenario is reminiscent of a scene from the film Jerry Maguire, with Qualcomm’s Christiano Amon required to scream: “Show me the money!” As Paul McGlone dances. If Qualcomm fails to do that, I know a few other companies that will. 

Meanwhile, in the absence of any ‘reasonable bid’ investors will have to be patient. For newbies that is a lot easier to do than for long-term investors but progress has clearly been demonstrated. Fleet is growing at approximately 40% a year,  SEE is winning auto business and its penetration into aviation is growing.

Admittedly, the fine detail on many issues is still scant, and there are always execution risks, but what isn’t in doubt is that Seeing Machines technology is going to dominate this market over the next few years. There was enough in the presentation to give valuable insights into its business but insufficient detail for those seeking easy ways to value the company in the very short term. 

While Cenkos has immediately raised its price target to 19.5p, Stifel has yet to issue a note. Is it saving a note for some big news prior to Christmas? 

Costly R&D

Unfortunately, continued costly R&D is unavoidable as Seeing Machines is being pushed to deliver up to 40 additional features alongside its core technology (everything from being able to tell if a driver is using their phone to identifying the ID of the driver) to win the A$1.1 billon in contracts currently up for grabs. Fortunately, Paul McGlone has said that the company will attempt to license such technology where possible and eschew rash and costly takeovers. Thankfully, no competitor is anywhere close to being able to deliver a comparable system to the timescales required by auto manufacturers — timescales driven by legislation in Europe and the US. 

In addition, SEE should be able to charge increased rates for some of these features. Cenkos estimates an average selling price (ASP) of US$14 a car recently, an increase on its previous estimates, and it is hoped this trend may continue given SEE’s domination of the market. Like Qualcomm, but on a smaller scale, it is selling a highly complex system not a single product to a market desperate for its cutting-edge, DMS technology.

Despite serious pressure to cut costs in automotive, there appears to be no other DMS company that can really deliver to the specs demanded by car manufacturers in the short time frames and price points at which they want it. Thus, I expect Seeing Machines to be well on it way to winning 75% plus of the global DMS market by 2025, increasing profit margins as it does so.

Similarly, it is working on the 3rd generation of its Guardian aftermarket product for trucks – while at the same time starting to go into trucks at the manufacturing stage. We await a contract announcement regarding that in due course.

Investors are still waiting for a Caterpillar-style license deal for aviation with L3Harris. While we wait for it to materialise, there appears plenty of upside from the current share price of around 10p-11p. With significant news expected at CES in early January, only a market crash is likely to prevent the current share price from rising substantially over the next few months.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Is Tesla going to use Seeing Machines?

Evidence appears to be mounting that Elon Musk may attempt to get the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) off his back by upgrading Tesla’s driver monitoring systems (DMS) with Seeing Machines state-of-the-art, camera based driver/occupant monitoring.

At its Investor Day earlier this week, Qualcomm CEO Christiano Amon made repeated references to its progress in selling a system rather than individual components to auto OEMs, in the form of its ‘Snapdragon digital chassis’. This includes its telematics, digital cockpit, Car-to-Cloud services, ADAS and autonomy solutions.

Tesla a customer

Amon cited Tesla (1hour, 5 mins) as the model for legacy OEMs who, with Qualcomm’s help, can also become technology companies. The legacy OEMs clearly want Tesla-like valuations, Qualcomm wants to sell 10 times more chips — and even Tesla apparently needs Qualcomm expertise. 

Indeed, Tesla also featured in a background graphic of 36 car marques (25 global OEMs) that apparently use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit platform.

Global automotive customers of Qualcomm

Details were sketchy but Seeing Machines is partnered with Qualcomm and supplies its driver monitoring system as part of the overall system. 

There is no certainty that Tesla will incorporate the entire Qualcomm system but it would make sense for it to, at the very least, include the driver monitoring aspect featuring Seeing Machines technology.

Qualcomm growth in automotive

Certainly, Qualcomm’s strategy of diversifying into automotive is gathering pace and it now has an order book of US$13bn in automotive.

Qualcomm’s annual automotive revenue rose by half to nearly US$1 billion in the fiscal 2021 year that ended on 26 September. Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala, forecast last Tuesday that this would grow to approximately $3.5 billion by fiscal 2026, thanks to numerous deals already signed. In 10 years time, Qualcomm expects that number to grow to $8 billion.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the U.S. federal government, part of the Department of Transportation. It describes its mission as “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes” related to transportation safety in the United States

With the NHTSA investigating accidents involving Telsa vehicles, alongside increasing concerns that Tesla’s marketing its semi-autonomous autos as being capable of ‘Full Self Driving’ technology is misleading consumers, Tesla does need a fix. Incorporating Seeing Machines DMS would help prevent accidents due to driver fatigue or distraction and possibly prevent intervention by US regulators that could damage Tesla’s share price.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a complex character with faults and foibles like most humans. He is also a visionary, arguably more significant than even Nikolas Tesla. Just listen to Musk opining on the importance of interplanetary travel for the survival of the human species (back in 2016) if you doubt that. I’m sure Musk can see the sense in using Seeing Machines DMS technology.

However, I may be wrong – or a little ahead of my time – and you should always do your own research. When it comes to investing, being too early is often the same as being wrong. Until you are proven right.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

Roy Holehouse needs your help

One of the best-known and highly-regarded private investors in Seeing Machines has fallen gravely ill and is currently in intensive care. He isn’t expected to survive and, while your prayers can help, his family could also do with financial assistance at this time of crisis.

A friend of the family has created a gofundme page and many holders of Seeing Machines and even members of the company have donated.

If you too can spare some cash, no matter how little, feel free to donate. It’s certainly in a good cause.

Here’s the link to the page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/f3u5cw-a-helping-hand?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

Thanks.