Courtesy of Waymo

A pair of Morgan Stanley analysts believe Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, would be worth $70 billion (roughly the same at Uber's current private valuation) if it were to spin out of its parent company, according to an analyst note first spotted by Business Insider.

The reasoning: Waymo's recent partnership with ride-hailing company Lyft will likely help the company rack up more miles driven by its self-driving cars, according to analysts Brian Nowak and Adam Jonas, providing Waymo with more data to improve its technology. Spinning it out could also isolate Alphabet from regulatory challenges (including liability and ethics) faced by the self-driving car industry, leaving it all to Waymo to navigate.

Bigger picture: Waymo is part of what Alphabet considers its "Other Bets"—its experimental units outside of Google. The latter includes Android and YouTube as well, and continues to be the company's revenue engine. However, these Other Bets are getting increasing pressure (especially since the hiring of CFO Ruth Porat) to find ways to make money and reign in their spending. Spinning out Waymo could serve as a first test for Alphabet's Other Bets and their viability as stand alone businesses.

Go deeper

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pence no longer expected at Amy Coney Barrett's final confirmation vote

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats claimed that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.