The news came just 9 days after Uber's own self-driving vehicle was involved in a fatal crash in Tempe, AZ on March 18 - and one day after Arizona's governor Douglas Ducey pulled the plug on the Uber's autonomous trials for now.
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However, International Paper Company has noted that the offer "was publicly rejected by Smurfit Kappa without any engagement". The Irish company rebuffed the increased offer again, saying that it undervalued the company and made no strategic sense.
Waymo estimates that once all 20,000 driverless I-Pace models are on United States roads, they will collectively perform one million rides per day.
"While we've been focused at Waymo on building the world's most experienced driver, the team at Jaguar Land Rover has developed an all-new battery-electric platform that looks to set a new standard in safety, design and capability", Waymo CEO John Krafcik, who was on hand in NY to reveal the initiative, added.
John Krafcik CEO of Waymo is pictured during the unveiling of a driverless vehicle in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2018.
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The price target set for the stock is $222.81 and this sets up an interesting set of potential movement for the stock. The difference between the expected and actual EPS was $-0.51/share, which represents an Earnings surprise of -26.2%.
The long-term strategic partnership will see the two firms working on designing and engineering driverless Jaguar I-Pace vehicles - the company's first all-electric SUV.
Like Waymo's previous vehicles, it seems to still be geared toward a ride-hailing service and not personal ownership considering the look of the vehicle - though the Krafcik said that they are still considering launching vehicles for personal use. The I-PACE will be able to travel 240 miles on a single charge and accelerate from 0-60 mph in under five seconds. The resulting mash-up SUVs are destined to enter into service as driverless taxis, much like Waymo's Chrysler Pacificas will later this year.
Waymo's CEO John Krafcik has been vocal about how its autonomous technology differs from Uber's.
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The deal, announced Tuesday, is potentially worth more than $1 billion, and escalates Waymo's effort to put vehicles on public roads without human drivers behind the wheel.