Cruise, GM, Microsoft to commercialise self driving cars

  • January 27, 2021
  • William Payne

Self driving software start-up Cruise and General Motors have entered a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to commercialise self-driving vehicles.

The companies will combine their software and hardware expertise, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem.

Microsoft will join General Motors, 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.

GM will also work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider to accelerate digitisation initiatives, including artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. GM and Microsoft will also work to streamline digital supply chains, improve productivity and accelerate time to market for autonomous driving vehicles.

Cruise will use the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to commercialise at scale its autonomous vehicle solutions. Microsoft will employ Cruise’s industry expertise to enhance its own customer-driven product innovation, especially in the transportation sector.

“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 democratisation of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialise our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles.”

“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,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialisation of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realise 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.”