(Nov 13): On Nov 7, Alphabet’s autonomous car subsidiary, Waymo, pulled the “safety driver” from its self-driving vans in Phoenix, Arizona. It was a key milestone for the car industry and the advent of connected, electric, autonomous cars. For now, there will still be an employee in the back who can push a button to pull over the car in an emergency. Driver less cars are no longer pie in the sky. They are here and on the road alongside cars with drivers.

If there is one company that is identified most closely with autonomous, connected cars that run on batteries, it is Tesla, though Waymo is slightly ahead in driverless technology. Yet, Tesla is also one of the most polarising large-cap stocks of the current bull market. Ask anyone about the car, and you will have them waxing lyrical about it. Ask them about Tesla the stock, and you will find two groups: those who absolutely hate the stock because they do not see a clear path to profits; and those who just love it. There is little middle ground.

Last week, Tesla’s moment of truth arrived as shares of the electric vehicle pioneer sank to under US$300, their lowest level in nearly six months, after the company posted a wider-than-expected loss in the July-to-September quarter and missed production targets. Tesla stock is down 21% from its mid-September peak, or officially in bear market territory.

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