Cruise and General Motors this week announced they have entered a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.
The three companies said they will bring together their software and hardware engineering expertise, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem to transform transportation to 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 Cruise CEO Dan Ammann. "Microsoft will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialize our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles."
To unlock the potential of cloud computing for self-driving vehicles, Cruise said it will leverage Azure, Microsoft's cloud and edge computing platform, to commercialize its autonomous vehicle offerings at scale.
Microsoft will also join General Motors, 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.”
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the agreement will help the company “accelerate the commercialization of Cruise's all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realize 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.”