Jan 19, 2021 - Economy

Microsoft, GM add $2 billion to Cruise for robotaxi rollout

Microsoft building

Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Microsoft is joining GM, Honda and others in a $2 billion investment round in Cruise to help commercialize its self-driving cars. The deal bumps Cruise's valuation to $30 billion, from $19 billion last year.

Why it matters: The investment is part of a broader commitment by GM and Cruise to use Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform across their companies, especially as they roll out increasingly complex vehicles that rely on digital technologies.

The big picture: Self-driving vehicles devour massive amounts of data to operate safely.

  • They collect and process data from cameras, radar and lidar sensors for perception, location mapping and decision-making.
  • Commercialization requires even more data to optimize routes and to create consumer-facing apps and websites.

What they're saying: “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," said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann.

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

Go deeper: Cloud-based cars powered by 5G and new computers are on the way

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