Software giant confirms it is part of a $2 billion investment in GM’s Cruise self-driving unit, which will utilise Azure going forward
General Motors is the parent organisation of self-driving specialist Cruise, and it confirmed on Tuesday that Microsoft has joined the venture with a serious investment.
According to the press release, Microsoft will join Honda, General Motors and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise.
The investment underlines how big names in the tech industry view the self-driving car market as a growth market in the years ahead.
The ‘long-term strategic relationship’ between Microsoft and General Motors is to help accelerate the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles.
It has been confirmed that two firms “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.”
To this end, General Motors will work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider to accelerate its digitisation initiatives, including collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
Cruize will also utilise Azure, to commercialise its autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.
GM will also apparently explore opportunities with Microsoft to “streamline operations across digital supply chains, foster productivity and bring new mobility services to customers faster.”
“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 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.”
The head of General Motors, Mary Barra, said Microsoft’s involvement will “help us accelerate the commercialisation of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles.”
Barra said that General Motors intends to launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025.