Winnebago could be one of the most unexpected winners of the self-driving car revolution

  • Winnebago could seize on the self-driving car revolution by making autonomous pods, Morningstar theorizes.
  • The cars could be used for office work, yoga, salons, or anything else under the sun. Even sex, a new study said this week.
  • “These ideas may sound silly now, but AVs free up time, and we think people in an AV world will not be content to just sit idle,” the analyst said.

Phone calls, yoga, a haircut… the list of things to do while commuting in a self-driving car is virtually endless.

Because of this new realm of possibilities, there could be an unlikely winner from the autonomous revolution: RV-maker Winnebago.

“We would not be surprised if far off in the future, the company greatly expanded its sales in urban markets with autonomous motor homes for city commuting,” David Whiston, an analyst at Morningstar, said in a recent note to clients.

“We think that in a Level 4 or Level 5 AV world, commuters will not be content to sit idle or merely listen to headphones, and a motor home could be used as a rolling service provider, such as a bank or salon, so people can make the most efficient use of their commuting time,” he continued.


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Of course, humans probably won’t stop there. Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Surrey theorised this week that self-driving cars would inevitably used for sex, due to its intimate relationship with urban tourism. It’s not clear how Winnebago might feel about its name attached to a roving brothel.

“These ideas may sound silly now, but AVs free up time, and we think people in an AV world will not be content to just sit idle,” Whiston writes. With Waymo reportedly set to launch commercial rides in a self-driving taxi as soon as next month, the days of sitting behind a steering wheel listening to the radio could be gone sooner than expected.

It could be a wild idea – but Morningstar, a relatively conservative research firm, doesn’t want to miss out on the impending revolution. And with Winnebago’s stock price down more than 50% this year alone, they probably won’t want to miss out either.

“As for Winnebago’s executives,” writes Whiston,” if they do think we are crazy, they have been polite enough not to tell us.”

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