Microsoft has announced that it is partnering up with General Motors (GM) subsidiary company Cruise to help boost the commercialisation of autonomous vehicles (AV). It is reported that the major software company is also partaking in a combined new equity investment of more than US$2 billion in cruise, along with existing investors GM and Honda Motor Co, bringing the AV startup company’s post-money valuation up to US$30 billion.
The companies said the partnership aims to be a “long-term strategic relationship” to further push establish Cruise as a developer of self-driving vehicles and technology. As part of the deal, the AV company will use the Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform for its self-driving vehicles and technology.
This collaboration is one of many that has been established by the Windows OS maker in a push to expand more into the transportation sector. As reported by The Verge, the company also previously struck a deal with UK-based AV startup company Wayve last year in October. Additionally, according to a Reuters report, automakers including Volkswagen and Toyota have utilised Microsoft’s Azure platform for operation and services other than self-driving.
Meanwhile, Cruise parent company GM is reported to work with Microsoft to accelerate its digitisation initiatives such as artificial intelligence. In addition, this relationship will also help the automaker to explore opportunities to streamline its operations across digital supply chains and provide new mobility services, including robotaxis and last-mile deliveries.