Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler and supplier Robert Bosch are teaming up to develop self-driving cars in an alliance aimed at accelerating the production of ''robo-taxis''. As Laura Frykberg reports, the pact forms a powerful counterweight to new auto industry players like ride-hailing firms Uber and Didi.
Daimler and Robert Bosch are shifting gears Teaming up to develop self-driving cars And create so-called 'robo taxis' A market Goldman Sachs says will be worth $96 billion by 2025 And a whopping $290 billion ten years after that. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, 7IM, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "The first stages of it will be the areas that gobble up a lot of money and don't provide much return. It will be the second stage of development which will then bring it into the mass market. That'll be the area that will really be the future of driving." It's a change of direction for the world's largest maker of premium cars. and the world's largest automotive supplier. To compete against those leading that industry - like Google, Uber and Apple. But analysts say it's a reflection of new market demand. We're now all on our smartphones hailing rides - instead of out hiring or buying cars. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, 7IM, JUSTIN URQUHART STEWART, SAYING: "It's a sign of the times. You can see where this is going now. In 20 or 30 years time these are going to be common in operations around the country." Daimler had been trying to develop an autonomous car largely on its own. But given how close Google is to getting its driverless cars consumer ready. Perhaps collaboration is an easier way to catch up to the competition.