Though Waymo’s first commercial pilot seems small, Wall Street has major projections for the company’s financial future. According to abase-case estimate from investment bank UBS, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit may book $114 billion in revenue in 2030.
Waymo will perform a self-driving taxi test in the suburbs around Phoenix, in which it will charge a small number of people fares, similar to prices of competitive companies such as Uber and Lyft. If Waymo continues to add more cars and locations, it could even license its maps and an autonomous vehicle operating system to other services or car-markers.
Intel released a study in June of last year, to put that $114 billion into perspective, that projected the self-driving space would generate $800 billion in cumulative revenue by 2035. UBS’ estimate was strictly on Waymo’s revenue derived from robotaxi-related services, though Sheridan believes there are opportunities in logistics and commercial delivery too.
On the other hand, a variety of other tech and auto companies are in competition to launch their own self-driving taxi services, including GM’s Cruise and Uber. And while Waymo seems to have the most advanced technology, as highlighted by its Wednesday launch, there are still a host of regulatory and safety concerns on the table.
UBS pegs Waymo’s total value between $25 and $135 billion, with a base case valuation of $75 billion. Morgan Stanley valued Waymo at $45 billion in August, with the potential to grow to $175 billion.