Microsoft To Partner With GM’s Cruise To Hasten Autonomous Vehicles
Microsoft is partnering with General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary, Cruise, to hasten the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. The partnership follows a new equity investment of $2 billion by the software giant into Cruise.
In addition to this, previous investments by Honda and GM will bring the AV company’s valuation up to $30 billion. According to the companies, Microsoft and Cruise are entering “a long-term strategic relationship” even though the partnership won’t be exclusive.
The deal will allow Cruise to use the resources of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure. This will help it help speed up the process of making money off its fleet of autonomous vehicles. Microsoft on the other hand will leverage the relationship with Cruise for its expansion into the transportation sector. This is the first time Microsoft will be partnering with an autonomous vehicle company.
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“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods. As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
Cruise recently began testing its fully autonomous vehicles in San Francisco. It also planned to launch a commercial taxi service in 2019 and although it didn’t meet that timeline, it has not yet announced another date.
Microsoft has also been working on a connected vehicle platform on top of its Azure platform. Already Renault Nissan and Volkswagen have signed onto the platform. Renault committed to the platform in January 2017 while Volkswagen signed on in October 2018.
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