E-vehicle News

Microsoft joins self-driving race in new deal with Cruise, GM

Summary

Microsoftis making a bold bet on self-driving with Cruise and General Motors. GM and Cruise said on Tuesday that they have entered into a “long-term strategic relationship” with the software giant to “accelerate the commercialization” of autonomous-vehicle technology. Microsoft is […]

Microsoftis making a bold bet on self-driving with Cruise and General Motors.

GM and Cruise said on Tuesday that they have entered into a “long-term strategic relationship” with the software giant to “accelerate the commercialization” of autonomous-vehicle technology. Microsoft is joining GM, earlier Cruise investor Honda Motor, and institutional investors in a new investment round of more than $2 billion that will bring Cruise’s post-money valuation to $30 billion, the companies said. Under the deal, Cruise will deploy its autonomous taxis using Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform, and GM agrees to select Azure as its preferred public-cloud provider. In return, Microsoft will be able to draw on expertise from Cruise and GM to try to boost Azure’s market penetration in transportation-related segments.

Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, characterizing Microsoft as “the gold standard in the trustworthy democratization of technology,” said that the tech giant will be a “force multiplier” as his company moves to commercialize its self-driving taxi fleet. For Microsoft, the chance to work with Cruise – and to secure GM as a long-term client – helps its ongoing effort to compete with cloud rivals including Amazon’s AWS and gives it a stake in an autonomous-vehicle player as the technology heads for the mainstream.

For Cruise, it’s another big-league partner that could help it move closer – in both technology and investors’ perceptions – to Waymo, the Alphabet-owned company widely seen as the self-driving leader. Details of the size and timing of Microsoft’s investment in Cruise hadn’t yet been disclosed at press time.