GM, Cruise, Microsoft to Commercialize Self-Driving Vehicles

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on GM and Cruise

Cruise Automation COO Dan Kan (l to r), Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt and then GM President Dan Ammann at Cruise Automation offices in San Francisco, California June 2018.

Cruise and General Motors today announced they have entered a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to “accelerate the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.” The companies claimed they will bring together their software and hardware engineering, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing ability, and partners to “create a safer, cleaner and more accessible world for everyone.”

Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion. Founded and headquartered in San Francisco, Cruise’s stated goal is to build the world’s most advanced self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles. GM will launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025. Volkswagen and Ford havelinked with Pittsburgh autonomous vehicle company Argo AI, already.  Hyundai in with Fiat Chrysler since the summer of 2020  to use Waymo’s driverless car technology.  AutoInformed thinks that making money on autonomous vehicles remains a distant promise. (see AutoInformed on Honda Joins with Cruise and General Motors to Build New Autonomous Vehicle. Honda Investment Of $750 Million Values Cruise At $14.6 Billion and SoftBank Vision Fund to Invest $2.25 B in GM Cruise)

In addition, GM will work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider 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… and bring new mobility services to customers faster.” AutoInformed notes that speed is not traditionally associated with GM advances.

“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,” claimed Cruise CEO Dan Ammann. “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,” Ammann said.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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