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3 Stocks to Play the Rise of Autonomous Vehicles

The rise of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and artificial intelligence stocks is paving the way for a pretty interesting 2024. If 2023 was about large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, 2024 might be the year that self-driving technologies kick it up a notch. Undoubtedly, we’ve seen plenty of hits and misses in the self-driving market over the past year, with various robotaxi services hitting the roads in California.

From self-driving collisions to robotaxi-induced traffic jams, there has been no shortage of negative headlines lately. That said, as technology gets better and robotaxi rivals learn from the mistakes of their peers, I think it’s hard not to be hopeful for the autonomous vehicles stocks play in the new year. Self-driving remains a profoundly complicated problem, but one that AI can solve.

Let’s check out three autonomous vehicles stocks worth a look going into 2024.

Telsa (TSLA)

Source: Arina P Habich /

Telsa (NASDAQ:TSLA) is an electric vehicle (EV) firm that seems quite eager to break into the field of autonomous driving. Indeed, Elon Musk has expressed his desire to enter the realm of robotaxis. And if Tesla’s AI capabilities are up to it, the stock may just be able to break out of its current multi-year funk. Undoubtedly, the Cybertruck launch will be the talk of the town in 2024. But let’s not forget about the company’s continued progress toward its own product to compete in the AV scene.

Even as appetite for fancy EVs stalls into 2024, look for more people to start talking about the firm’s self-driving tech. It remains one of the biggest reasons to pay a little extra when compared to other auto firms, in my opinion. The recent Autopilot-related recall may suggest that fully self-driving taxis may still be a ways off for the firm. That said, I continue to view Tesla as one of the most capable AV contenders, given its experience and tech talent.

Rolling forward, I expect Tesla to keep moving slowly and steadily into the self-driving arena. Every update will make Autopilot that much more capable. And eventually, perhaps in a few years, it’ll be in a spot such that Tesla robotaxis could be genuinely competitive in the robotaxi market. Tesla’s shrewd, slow-and-steady approach may not propel shares higher in 2024, but I do like where the firm stands on AVs over the next five years.

General Motors (GM)

Source: Katherine Welles /

General Motors (NYSE:GM) jumped into the deep end of the robotaxi waters head-first with its self-driving robotaxis service Cruise. Unfortunately, the results haven’t been great. Recently, the company conducted layoffs over at Cruise, cutting around 24% of the workforce. It was a tough move following an unfortunate incident involving a Cruise AV, but one that has many investors re-evaluating the company’s AV ambitions to the downside going into the new year.

At this juncture, it seems like GM’s Cruise is an AV underdog that may be lacking versus rivals. As the company revamps its self-driving business, perhaps GM could cruise back into a better spot. For now, the stock looks like a bargain at 4.66 times forward price-to-earnings as the firm looks to move forward with its EV ambitions.

GM has been buying back its own stock, with a $10 billion repurchase commitment recently initiated in a move that I believe suggests deep value to be had for investors who have patience.

Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG)

Source: Koshiro K /

Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) AV arm Waymo hasn’t been without its own share of fumbles as one of the frontrunners in robotaxi services. Though worse news from Cruise may make Waymo look better, Alphabet still needs to learn and grow from its shortcomings last year. Most notably, Waymo needs to drive at a pace that’s safe without causing too much traffic congestion. It’s a tough balance but one that I believe ought to heavily favor safety.

In any case, I view Waymo as a much more capable AV competitor than Cruise. Only time will tell if Waymo can fend off Tesla when it makes a splash into the robotaxi scene. Regardless, I’d look for Waymo to improve its capabilities in 2024 and the new year. The technology is getting better. And once it’s optimized, a national roll-out could get investors really excited about GOOG.

For now, Waymo would be wise to keep doing its shoulder checks as new and coming robotaxi rivals are bound to give it a good run.

On the date of publication, Joey Frenette owned shares of GOOG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Joey Frenette is a seasoned investment writer specializing in technology and consumer stocks. Contributing to the Motley Fool Canada, TipRanks, and Barchart, Joey excels in spotting mispriced stocks with long-term growth potential in a fast-paced market.