Autonomous Vehicle Stocks: Why LAZR, CGRO and VLDR Stock Are Climbing Today

Get ready for autonomous vehicle companies to drive you to success. Following up on gains last week, a trio of plays in this space are climbing higher on Monday. With Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR), Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ:VLDR) and Collective Growth (NASDAQ:CGRO) all up big, what do you need to know? And without any recent news, why is VLDR stock rallying as well?

A young woman reads a book while behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

Source: Shutterstock

To start, what do these three companies have in common? Importantly, they all specialize in making sensor systems, and they all have a hand in the world of self-driving cars. This shared focus means they have been captivating investor attention in recent days.

Also importantly, there are two big news items investors can thank on Monday. The first is the fact that the Luminar SPAC merger recently closed and LAZR stock began trading on the Nasdaq Exchange. Following the end of its days trading as Gores Metropoulos, Luminar shot up. We are seeing a continuation of that this week, with LAZR up more than 35%.

Additionally, CGRO stock is also benefitting from news last week. As we reported, rumor has it that the special purpose acquisition company is in talks to acquire Innoviz. Importantly, Innoviz is an Israeli firm that also specializes in LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles. With investors continuing to process the SPAC merger news, CGRO stock is up 9%.

Lastly, what has VLDR stock up so much?

The Bottom Line on Self-Driving Cars and VLDR Stock

Unlike Luminar and Collective Growth, Velodyne Lidar does not have any big company news. Investors might remember that Velodyne Lidar closed its SPAC merger with Graf Industrial back at the end of September. Since then, VLDR stock is up just about 10%. Although that is not necessarily bad performance, it pales in comparison to the post-merger success of Luminar.

So then, why is VLDR stock up nearly 22% on Monday?

Likely, VLDR stock is benefitting from investors once again turning their attention to the world of LiDAR and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, we know that the autonomous vehicle market has been picking up steam. At the start of the pandemic, a lot of research came to a halt. However, now many industry experts see self-driving vehicles as a way to combat the virus. This means that some startups are testing contactless prescription delivery and self-driving robotaxis. It also means that VLDR and its peers look increasingly hot.

Additionally, VLDR stock differentiates itself from Luminar. This is because it has a slightly different approach. Unlike Luminar, which works to make its sensors very affordable, Velodyne Lidar focuses on the higher-cost prototype market. Right now, this has led many to believe it will succeed as more startups join the competitive field and look for sensors to guide their prototype vehicles.

As LAZR, VLDR and CGRO trend higher, keep a close eye on the LiDAR space.

On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. 

Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with 

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