Microsoft Partners with Cruise on Self-Driving Cars

Software behemoth Microsoft is forming a “long-term strategic relationship” with the General Motors subsidiary Cruise to assist with ramping up the production of self-driving cars, according to The Verge. In addition, Microsoft is making a $2 billion investment in Cruise.

This brings Cruise’s valuation to $30 billion. Both General Motors and Honda are also investors. Microsoft’s deal is allowing the company to get a foothold in the transportation industry, and Cruise will now be able to benefit from Microsoft’s cloud computing platform called Azure.

“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”

The deal will speed up Cruise’s use of cloud-based and digital solutions, including AI, according to Reuters. General Motors, which has around 100,000 employees, now also plans to work with Microsoft’s cloud computing technology. The company previously worked with Google.

Cruise recently began testing its driverless vehicles in San Francisco. The company released the Cruise Origin last year, which is a completely driverless prototype that has no steering wheel or pedals or any typical controls customarily seen in cars.

Several passengers will be able to travel in their self-driving car. Due to the pandemic, Cruise has also implemented new safety precautions to protect passengers. These include sanitizing the car between trips and helping ensure passengers practice social distancing.