Microsoft Invests $2 Billion into GM’s Cruise to Accelerate Self-Driving EV Tech

GM’s driverless Chevy Bolts during a media event in San Francisco for Cruise, its autonomous driving subsidiary company. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

As autonomous driving continues to gain traction and attention, companies like General Motors (GM) and Microsoft are throwing their hats in the ring to take part in the action.

Autonomous driving startup and GM subsidiary Cruise has raised another $2 billion in equity, pushing the company’s valuation up to $30 billion, thanks to an investment from Microsoft, according to a report by Tech Crunch on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Cruise will gain access to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, for its upcoming ride-hailing service.

Cloud-computing costs will be significantly reduced for Cruise, and in return, Microsoft will have the chance to test the huge workloads and bleeding-edge systems needed to apply machine learning and robotics programming to its autonomous vehicles.

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

The partnership also applies to GM, making Microsoft’s Azure the preferred public cloud provider for all of the automaker’s digital initiatives.

While some experts have claimed that building autonomous vehicles is “harder than rocket science” in the past, many companies are looking for their shot at the budding market right now. And with its most recent investment from and partnership with Microsoft, Cruise is setting itself up for success.