American self-driving carmaker Cruise and global vehicle manufacturer General Motors (GM) have announced they have entered a long-term strategic relationship with US-based software giant Microsoft to accelerate the commercialization of autonomous vehicles.
The companies will bring together their software and hardware engineering excellence, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem to transform transportation to create a safer, cleaner, and more accessible world for everyone.
“Our mission to bring safer, better, and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race, it’s also a trust race,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann. “Microsoft, as the gold standard in the trustworthy democratization of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialize our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles.”
To unlock the potential of cloud computing for self-driving vehicles, Cruise will utilize Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform, to commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions. Microsoft, as Cruise’s preferred cloud provider, will also tap into Cruise’s deep industry expertise to enhance its customer-driven product innovation and serve transportation companies across the globe through continued investment in Azure.
Microsoft will join General Motors, Japanese automaker Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.
“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”
“Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realize even more benefits from cloud computing as we launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025 and create new businesses and services to drive growth.”
In addition, GM will work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider to accelerate its digitization initiatives, including collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. GM will explore opportunities with Microsoft to streamline operations across digital supply chains, foster productivity and bring new mobility services to customers faster.
Backed by Ford Motor and Volkswagen, Cruise’s goal is to drive change by building the world’s most advanced self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles that safely connect people to the places, things, and experiences they care about.