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Volkswagen Commences Testing of Self-driving Cars in Germany

Zacks Equity Research

In a major development, Volkswagen AG VWAGY announced that it started testing self-driving vehicles in Hamburg, Germany, per CNBC. This is the first time that the German auto giant has been conducting automated vehicle test runs in real conditions in a major German city.

The tests being conducted by Volkswagen Group Research will feature five specially equipped e-Golfs, driving on a three-kilometer stretch of a road. The highly autonomous vehicles have laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, radars and cameras. The vehicles will have drivers behind the steering wheel in order to examine performance and take control in the event of an emergency.

The computing power of 15 laptops has been installed in the e-Golf trunk. This alongside the sensor technology will equip the vehicle to gather different data related to cyclists, pedestrians, other vehicles and intersections.

In order to make self-driving comfortable and safer, vehicles not only have to become more intelligent buy the city must also facilitate digital infrastructure. A nine-kilometer “digital test bed” for connected and automated driving is being built in Hamburg. This is likely to be completed in 2020.

In the past six months, shares of Volkswagen have outperformed the industry it belongs to. Its stock gained 3.7% against the industry’s decline of 2.6%.



Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Volkswagen currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the auto space are Ferrari N.V. RACE, General Motors Company GM and Fox Factory Holding Corp. FOXF. While Ferrari currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), General Motors and Fox Factory carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ferrari has an expected long-term growth rate of 18.5%. Shares of the company have gained 30.6% over the past three months.

General Motors’ long-term growth rate is projected at 8.9%. Over the past three months, shares of the company have gained 12.9%.

Fox Factory has an expected long-term growth rate of 15.1%. Over the past three months, shares of the company have risen 24.1%.

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