And in the partnership that was Advertising On Tuesday, the two companies said: Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing and advanced computing platform will be used to widely market unique autonomous vehicle solutions.
Microsoft is joining General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a new joint stock investment of more than $ 2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $ 30 billion.
Cruise, which was acquired by GM in 2016, has been a pioneer in driverless technology and got the green light from California late last year to test its automated cars in San Francisco without backup drivers.
Auto companies are joining forces and partnering with technology companies to try to spread the huge costs of developing autonomous and electric cars.
Honda is working on the Cruise project with General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford have teamed up with the Pittsburgh self-driving car company Argo, and Hyundai joined with Fiat Chrysler last summer in a deal to use the autonomous car technology from Waymo.
Toyota and Uber are also teaming up together, while Amazon skipped the carmaker’s part of the equation and last summer bought autonomous technology company Zoox, which is developing a self-driving vehicle for a ride-sharing service.
“Microsoft is an important addition to the team as we march towards a future world free of accidents, emissions and congestion,” said Mary Barra, Chair and CEO of General Motors.
“Microsoft is helping us accelerate commercialization of Cruise’s fully electric and autonomous vehicles and helping GM realize more benefits from cloud computing as we launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025,” she added.
GM is aggressively renewing its image, saying: The industry has reached a turning point that has changed history with regard to the universal adoption of electric cars.
This month, the 112-year-old Detroit automaker unveiled the company’s new logo to signify its new direction as it is overtly focused on electric cars.
GM wants to be seen as a clean car company, rather than a builder of pickup trucks and petrol SUVs.