General Motors teams up with Microsoft on driverless cars

Yolanda Curtis
January 21, 2021

What's equally necessary and often not considered is the back-end systems that support self-driving and that's where Microsoft has entered the game. Described as long-term, the partnership aims to make use of Microsoft's Azure platform as Cruise looks to commercialize its autonomous vehicles in the coming decade. "Microsoft, as the gold standard in the trustworthy democratization of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialize our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles".

Microsoft is looking to leverage its prowess in cloud computing to help usher in the era of autonomous vehicles, with the company announcing a partnership with Cruise, the self-driving arm of General Motors.

Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a new combined equity investment of more than US$2 billion (RM8.1 billion) in San Fransisco-based Cruise, bringing the start-up's valuation to US$30 billion (RM121.4 billion), reports Reuters.

General Motors' Super Cruise is one of the most advanced autonomous driver-assist features found on a production vehicle, but the automaker may be nearly ready to announce the next stage in capability.

As with most of its cloud deals, Cruise will make use of Microsoft's Azure cloud while Microsoft will siphon its partners' knowledge and expertise to create better solutions to help accelerate its own innovation in the market. That technology that allows hands-free driving is set to spread across 22 vehicles by 2023, including the all-electric Hummer.

"Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion", said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

GM will also work with Microsoft on improving its digital initiatives through cloud processing, including projects in AI, machine learning, and collaboration.

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