New energy vehicles intelligent speed up industry chain enterprises are gearing up

New energy vehicle intelligence is accelerating, and related companies in the industrial chain such as autonomous driving chips are eager to try.

On March 22, Black Sesame Smart updated supplementary materials and submitted a listing application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange again; On March 26, Horizon filed its initial listing prospectus with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Horizon is a leading provider of advanced driving assistance (ADAS) and Advanced Autonomous Driving (AD) solutions for passenger cars in China. According to the prospectus, in 2023, Horizon’s revenue reached 1.6 billion yuan, and more than 100 fixed-point models were added throughout the year, with customers including BYD, Ideal, NIO, BAIC, Geely and many other vehicle enterprises; From 2021 to 2023, the compound annual growth rate of revenue reached 82.3%, and the gross profit margin was 70.9%, 69.3% and 70.5%, respectively, which has certain advantages in the industry.

According to the prospectus, from 2021 to 2023, Horizon R & D expenses are 1.144 billion yuan, 1.880 billion yuan and 2.366 billion yuan, accounting for 245%, 207.6% and 152.5% of revenue, respectively.

High investment in research and development puts some pressure on company profits. From 2021 to 2023, the net loss of Horizon was 2.064 billion yuan, 8.72 billion yuan and 6.739 billion yuan respectively. Adjusted net losses were 1.103 billion yuan, 1.891 billion yuan and 1.635 billion yuan, respectively.

From the perspective of research and development investment of black sesame, from 2021 to 2023, the research and development expenditure of black sesame is 595 million yuan, 764 million yuan and 1.363 billion yuan, accounting for 984.0%, 461.8% and 436.2% of the income, respectively.

Industry insiders told the China Securities Journal reporter that at present, it is difficult for intelligent driving suppliers to earn profits only by selling hardware, and they need to combine the full stack packaging scheme. Companies in the smart driving space need to build a more complete ecosystem with both core hardware and software and integrated services capabilities, but developing more businesses will drive up R&D spending.

From the perspective of Horizon, in 2023, more than 60% of Horizon’s revenue comes from licensing and services, and the revenue of software and hardware product solutions accounts for about 30%, and continues to decline.

In an interview with the China Securities Journal reporter, Shen Shao Jie, head of DJI vehicle, said that intelligent driving faces “four mountains” : chip computing power, sensors, software algorithm capabilities, and data closed-loop capabilities. To do a good job in intelligent driving business, we need to cross the “four mountains”. From the current situation, each company is good at different content, but the four complete business companies are not many, enterprises should strive to make the best use of the good content.

The commercialization of intelligent driving is accelerating

The policy pushes the “accelerator button” for the commercial application of advanced intelligent driving.

According to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Market Supervision, up to now, the Beijing high-level autonomous driving Demonstration Zone has issued road test qualifications for more than 800 vehicles from 29 test car companies, and the autonomous driving test mileage has exceeded 25 million kilometers.

Lin Qiang, deputy director of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Transport, previously said that in recent years, the Ministry of Transport has vigorously developed smart transportation and smart logistics, comprehensively promoted the construction of pilot demonstration zones, laid out a number of smart highways in Hebei, Jiangsu, Shandong, Chongqing and other places, the cultivation of smart transportation industry, and in-depth implementation of pilot applications of intelligent transportation. Drive the large-scale demonstration application of autonomous driving technology in urban travel services, terminal distribution, port operations and other scenarios.

In addition, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other cities have introduced policies to allow autonomous vehicles to engage in commercial trial operation of urban public trams, taxis, logistics and distribution in specific areas and at specific times, and the scale of application is constantly expanding.

According to the data of Insight Consulting, the global market size of advanced assisted driving and advanced automatic driving solutions will reach 61.9 billion yuan in 2023, and is expected to reach 1.02 trillion yuan in 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 49.2%.

On April 1, the relevant person in charge of the millimeter Wisdom line said in an interview with a reporter from the China Securities Journal that 2024 is the first year of the outbreak of the intelligent driving market. First of all, with the continuous increase of NOA penetration in cities, intelligent driving will truly enter thousands of households. In daily driving, more than 80% of miles are done within the city. With the urban NOA function landing, more consumers will truly experience the convenience and safety brought by intelligent driving. Second, technological evolution will bring about the maturity of intelligent driving functions, while the cost will continue to decline. In addition, the application of large models continues to explore, and will gradually land in mass production at the car end.

Industrial chain enterprises actively layout

Industry insiders believe that 2024 will be the year of the outbreak of L3 and above intelligent driving technology, and industry chain enterprises will spare no effort to seize the market.

According to the data of Chebai think tank, in the first half of 2023, the penetration rate of L2 level and above assisted driving reached 42.4%, and the penetration rate of urban NOA was 2%; In 2024, the penetration rate of the two will rise to 55% and 10%, respectively. In the future, NOA development will focus on spiral iterative innovation around landing rhythm, coverage scenes, and user experience.

In 2023, the ideal car has realized the ideal AD Max 3.0 all-scene intelligent driving (NOA) and all-scene assisted driving (LCC); In 2024, Geely Auto’s capital expenditure budget (excluding acquisitions through business mergers) is about 15 billion yuan, which will mainly be used for new models and intelligent technology research and development. He Xiaopeng, chairman and CEO of Xiaopeng Automobile, said that this year will carry out the upgrade of “AI technology with intelligent driving as the core” and plan to invest 3.5 billion yuan in annual intelligent research and development.

At the press conference held on March 28, Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Group, said that the urban NOA version of Xiaomi SU7 Pilot Max will be officially opened in 10 cities in May and nationwide in August. Lei Jun previously said that Xiaomi has invested heavily in the field of intelligent driving, and the current research and development team has exceeded 1,000 people, and it is expected to exceed 1,500 people by the end of the year.

With the advancement of intelligent driving technology, the reduction of hardware costs such as Lidar, and the release of more cost-effective intelligent driving solutions, the price of models with advanced autonomous driving functions will gradually decline.

Previously, more advanced intelligent driving technology was applied to more than 300,000 yuan models, and the release of Millet SU7 marked the beginning of high-end intelligent driving technology to penetrate the market of 200,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan mid-range models; Xiaopeng Automobile also announced that it will launch A new brand of A-class cars of 100,000 yuan to 150,000 yuan to create “the first AI intelligent driving car for young people”.