Cruise and General Motors (GM) have announced a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles, along with raising US$2 billion of investment from the software company and other investors.
The companies say they will bring together their software and hardware engineering expertise, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem to transform transportation and 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 Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise. “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.”
To unlock the potential of cloud computing for self-driving vehicles, Cruise will leverage Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform, to commercialise its autonomous vehicle solutions at scale. Microsoft, as Cruise’s preferred cloud provider, will also tap into Cruise’s industry expertise to enhance its customer-driven product innovation and serve transportation companies across the globe through continued investment in Azure.
Microsoft will join GM, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than US$2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to US$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 of 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 Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors. “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.”
In addition, GM says it will work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider to accelerate its digitisation initiatives, including collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. GM will explore opportunities with Microsoft to streamline operations across digital supply chains, improve productivity and bring new mobility services to customers faster.