The “Guardian Angel” Delivering Disruptive Technology

What's the stock touted by Chris Versace for the "Uncrashable Car?"

This ad caught my eye as readers were forwarding it in because it looks like a biotech pitch at first, but quickly morphs into a technology story.

The spiel is all about stopping deaths, and about how it’s about time someone put a stop to the unnecessary level of pain and suffering we’re all suffering… but it’s not about the next pain pill or cancer drug, it’s about technology that will prevent accidents. Especially car accidents.

Sound familiar? Yes, I imagine we’re looking at some of the same kinds of technologies that are being touted as key enablers of advancement as the “driverless car” evolves… but auto technology and safety technology have both generated some big stock market winners in the last couple decades, so let’s see exactly what Chris Versace is talking about as he tries to get us to subscribe to his Growth & Dividend Report (which is, as almost all newsletters almost always are, “on sale” for a “special low price” — in this case, $49.50 instead of the “regular” $250).

Here’s how the ad gets your attention:

“The vast majority of car accidents — 93% – are the result of human error.

“And I’ve seen several other reports that put that number as high as 98%.

“Now one company has emerged with technology designed to compensate for the human errors… protecting you, your family and millions of your fellow drivers in the process.”

Which “one company” is that? It’s probably not the same stock that the Motley Fool was touting in their driverless car ads last year (the one that’s Warren Buffett’s “worst nightmare” because it will destroy the auto insurance business), since that was a pitch for a microchip company (Nvidia, NVDA) and Versace seems to be talking about more of a “pure play” auto safety company, but we’ll find out when we go through the clues.

(Nvidia, by the way, has done just fine since the Fool started teasing it with that ad almost exactly a year ago — it’s up about 20% while the S&P is up about 10%. Still trades at about 20X earnings, with a small dividend and a large cash pile.)

So what is this new technology that Versace says will be “disruptive?” (When you’re pitching an investment, “disruptive” is usually code for “doesn’t matter that it’s expensive, because it’s going to change the way their business works in dramatic ways that ordinary mortals don’t understand.”) Here’s some more from the ad:

“… this is the first proactive driver protection system I’ve ever come across.

“I’m not talking about seat belts and air bags… or even antilock brakes…

“I’m talking about a system that will monitor what’s happening around you and actively engage systems to prevent an accident.

“That’s why the company developing this technology refers to it as a “Guardian Angel”…

“And why this proactive system will save hundreds of thousands of lives — maybe millions — over the next few years.”

OK… so what is this “Guardian Angel?” Thankfully, he starts to get into a few specifics as we drive our way down the page…

“Founded in 1999, this company has been installing driver-assist systems in cars around the world for almost a decade.

“To put it in their own words, “this system is a Guardian Angel, improving driver safety and driving habits”.

“With their latest systems installed in over 160 models in 2015, the next revolution in automotive safety is right around the corner… and the “Guardian Angel” technology is critical to making it happen.”

And he tosses out a possible model for how much these companies might make, along with a recent catalyst…

“In January 2015, the NHTSA announced that they would add automated braking systems to the recommended safety features in their New Car Assessment Program.

“This is the first big push for automakers to start embracing automated and assisted driving systems.

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