Robotaxi for who? The 16 stocks UBS believes will benefit from fleets of driverless cars (and the 13 that won't)

Lynsey Barber
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Geneva Auto Show Press Days 2017
Tyre makers are set to benefit from the more miles travelled (Source: Getty)

The rise of the robotaxi - fleets of futuristic looking autonomous cars carrying people around cities and beyond - threatens to bring mass cheap and efficient transport to the world's roads.

That's good for consumers, but what about business? Well, some stand to benefit more than others, according to UBS, which estimates they will be half the price of owning a car and will compete against the mass public transport of today.

Read more: Revealed: Three new driverless cars that will be hitting UK roads

More than 20 analysts from across the investment bank have collated their picks for winners and losers from across multiple sectors - from cars brands to insurers, power companies to chipmakers.

Positively Negatively
Daimler PSA
Michelin Schaeffler
Valeo Autoliv
Conti United Utilities
LG Chemical Severn Trent
Samsung SDI Seagate
Infineon Johnson Matthey
Texas Instruments EMS-Chemie
Fortum SKF
EDF Sandvik
Flex Admiral
Umicore Allstate

"Carmakers will likely have to reinvent their business model and expand into new areas such as fleet management, asset management, telecoms and media," said the report, while electric cars should give them a boost.

It will be challenging for these "super-tankers" to change course, it notes, but picks Daimler and VW as the most prepared due to their efforts in "mobility" and the latter taking a stake in Gett. Peugeot Citroen (PSA) and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) are the least prepared, with UBS citing low brand equity for the former and the latter's "fast follower strategy".

Read more: Google's Waymo lifts the bonnet on driverless cars: Four things we learned

When it comes to insurers the bank predicts a "very large" reduction in motor premiums. They are largely prepared for this shift, though not all are safe.

"Given the magnitude of the change in our forecast in our base case in this report. Such a scenario would lead to a major de-rating of the sub-sector and likely lead to som e companies in the sector going under," it said.

In terms of suppliers, tyre maker Michelin was identified as the big winner. UBS predicts that the number of kilometers driven globally is set to increase with the rise of robotaxis.

Also pegged as winners are those related to electric cars - LG Chemical and Samsung SDI - while semiconductor companies Infineon, Texas Instruments and TSMC also stand to benefit most with the sector a critical one to making robotaxis happen.

Read more: Full speed ahead: The UK's accelerating its transport tech drive

Even utilities will be impacted. UBS pegs EDF benefiting because it's "highly sensitive to power price/demand changes" said the report.

Meanwhile, the chemical industry which counts automotives as one of its main end markets, is unlikely to benefit in the long term, unless it is also dipping its toe in batteries.

"As robotaxis could support new car production in the medium term, this shift could prove a small positive overall for the next five years, but we would regard a drop in new car production longer term as a major threat for the broader chemicals space," said UBS.