Cathie Wood‘s Ark Investment Management recently updated its valuation framework for Tesla Inc TSLA, indicating that the majority of the value would come from Robotaxis. In an interview earlier this week, Wood shared her thoughts on the controversies surrounding Autopilot and the full self-driving software that powered robotaxis.
What Happened: The National Highway Transport Safety Administration’s probe into Autopilot and the threat of even taking off the Tesla vehicles armed with the technology is not concerning, said Wood in an interview with Axios.
Ark’s updated Tesla model sees Tesla stock hitting $2,400 in 2027, up from around $170 currently, the fund manager said. A good part of that is autopilot, she added.
Wood also pointed to data shared by Tesla at its Investor Day that showed that a Tesla car with FSD is six times safer than the average car on the road. The rate of accidents is one for every 3.2 million miles for the former compared to one for every 500,000 miles for an average car, she said.
A new Tesla car equipped with FSD is five times safer than the old Tesla cars that don’t have it, she added.
Wood noted that fatalities in cars have come down since safety driving measures such as seat belts were introduced. But fatalities have picked up over the last eight years due to texting and cell phone usage, she said.
“They [NHTSA] need to make the roads safer and one thing I know [is] every time they examine a fatality why don’t they examine all the other fatalities out there on the road, the other ones that kill 45,000 people a year,” Wood said.
When the federal regulator investigates it often concludes that it is the driver’s fault and it comes up with another metric that says Tesla cars are safer than most cars, The Ark Invest founder said.
“If you’ve used autopilot you know you have to be paying attention, you have to and they tell you you have to,” Wood said. In the last upgrade, Tesla has made users put their hands on the wheel and stay focused, she added.
FSD Praise: Wood also said she sees FSD as the “most impactful AI project out there.” Many in the investment community must not be driving a Tesla and therefore do not have a good understanding of the technology, she said.
“He [Elon Musk] is almost there. We needed him to push and get us there, just like we needed him to push on the EV side and get us there.”
Tesla closed Thursday’s session 2.10% higher at $172.08, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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