Microsoft invests in Cruise, enters partnership on driverless technology

Now that’s the play we have been waiting for

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

January 21, 2021

1 Min Read

Now that’s the play we have been waiting for

General Motors and its self-driving business Cruise have agreed to a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to speed up the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will join GM, Honda, and institutional investors in a new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise. This brings the valuation of the autonomous vehicle venture to $30 billion.

The companies intend to combine 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.”

“Force multiplier”

Cruise plans to leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform to scale its autonomous vehicle solutions.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to tap into Cruise’s industry expertise to enhance its product innovations and serve transportation companies globally via Azure.

“Our mission to bring safer, better and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race, it’s also a trust race,” Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise, said. “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.”

GM said it would work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider to “accelerate its digitization initiatives, including collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities,” and explore opportunities to streamline operations across digital supply chains.

"Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, said. “As Cruise and GM's preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”

About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost Internet of Things (IoT) experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the Internet of Things.

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