Take your seat for the ‘Battle of the Titans’

Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats. The ‘Battle of the Titans’, the heavyweight takeover of the decade, is about to begin. The winner will be the champion of interior vehicle monitoring for the next decade, opening up billions in new revenue streams in vehicles while also preventing accidents. It should also be able to help robots care for us humans long after that. 

With the news that Mobileye has been granted non-exclusivity to market SEE technology in the Aftermarket sector, it’s clear that the company (majority owned by Intel) needs SEE’s driver monitoring technology to complement its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It is now able to offer a one-stop active auto safety solution to its truck and bus customer base (who according to one source currently deploy over 2m vehicles). 

I’m even willing to bet that Mobileye wanted exclusivity, but Seeing Machines preferred to play the field, as it possesses the world’s most effective driver monitoring system (DMS).

Now that the dream of fully autonomous vehicles on all our roads has been seen to be just that, a reality that is decades away, DMS has come centre stage. As Colin Barnden, analyst at Semicast, astutely realised a while back: Mobileye needed DMS, the best DMS. And it now has access to it.

With Gen 3 Guardian likely to be available from Q1 of this calendar year, it opens up the possibility of a one-stop solution for Aftermarket being available in H2 of this financial year for millions of existing Mobileye customers as well as millions more truck and bus operators in Europe who aren’t.

As the scale of the market it will capture becomes crystal clear to players (and investors) Seeing Machines’ share price should rise substantially. Explosive growth in its Aftermarket revenues will also be coupled with sizeable Auto contracts and the much-anticipated Aviation deal. Financial analysts (commonly referred to as City scribblers) will then finally start producing broker notes with spiraling upgrades, as Fund Managers pile in. Professional investors can exhibit Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) just like private investors.

What’s the timeline? It’s starting now and will be increasingly apparent with every passing month. Notably, I’m expecting a trading update on the 22nd of February with a US investor show on the 8th March. Not to mention some big contract news between now and June.

Battle of the Titans

It seems my ‘Battle of the Titans‘ prediction is slowly (oh, so slowly) coming to pass.

However, unlike a boxing contest, the battle to acquire Seeing Machines won’t be a 2-person contest with Marquis of Queensbury rules. It’s set to be a bare-knuckle bout involving strategy and multiple bidders, more akin to a contest in an episode of Alice in Borderland. As I see it, there are at least 4 main contenders:

  • Intel (majority holder in Mobileye). 
  • AMD (owner of Xilinx)
  • Qualcomm
  • Nvidia – the dark horse? 

However, lurking in the shadows are many more players who must covet the technology that Seeing Machines possesses. Some are subsidiaries of Chinese companies, such as Omnivision, but I doubt that Australia (one of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance) would allow a Chinese company to acquire such sensitive technology which could have military applications. Do the remainder have the financial muscle and nerve to outbid the above chip companies? That remains to be seen.

Once the contest really gets going, I expect one of the three ‘A’s; Apple, Alphabet and Amazon to show their hand. They have the nerve, nous and financial strength to not only outbid the above chip companies but take Seeing Machines technology to the consumer market in a huge way.

I believe that this year is finally going to be fun for holders of Seeing Machines shares. Let the contest commence.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.

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