GM Turns to Digital Giant in Autonomous Push

General Motors has teamed up with Microsoft in a bid to accelerate its capabilities in driverless vehicle technology.

The automaker and its autonomous wing, GM Cruise, has announced it has entered a long-term strategic relationship with the computer giant. The pairing hopes to bring together eachother’s software and hardware engineering expertise, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystems.

GM Cruise will employ Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform, to commercialize its autonomous vehicle solutions at scale. Microsoft will also tap into Cruise’s industry knowledge to enhance its customer-driven product offerings on a global scale. The computing company will also join GM, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2Bn in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30Bn.

GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra, said: “Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realize even more benefits from cloud computing as we launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025 and create new businesses and services to drive growth.”

The company added that it will work with Microsoft to accelerate its digitization initiatives, including collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. GM will explore opportunities with Microsoft to streamline operations across digital supply chains, foster productivity and bring new mobility services to customers faster.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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