While autonomous cars will eventually dominate the road, the real opportunity for investors lies in the infrastructure needed to support them, says AMP Capital.
In a statement by AMP Capital, global listed infrastructure portfolio manager Andy Jones pointed out that while investors anticipated a reality where driverless cars would be widely embraced, this future was not yet “imminent”.
Infrastructure would first need to be built to accommodate self-driving cars, he said.
Thus, the real investment opportunities exist “less in the makers of the autonomous vehicles of the future that currently beguile much of the media”, Mr Jones said.
“It’s the less glamorous infrastructure that will support the new technology and will require investment on a large scale, offering the potential of attractive risk-adjusted returns,” said Mr Jones.
He identified various “infrastructure thematics” in which these opportunities lay: “transportation (enhancing existing road networks), utilities (investments in a changing power mix), communications (increasing wireless data transmission capacity) and energy (via continued gasoline demand from traditional cars in the short term and then demand for hybrid autonomous vehicles in the medium term)”.
“Listed and core infrastructure firms in these sectors, particularly first movers with a superior understanding of how commuters value their time, have substantial potential for growth,” Mr Jones said.
“Investors will be interested in the increasing inflation-linked and stable cash flows they will offer.”