Microsoft and General Motors (GM) have announced their partnership for their new ‘Cruise autonomous driving venture,’ merging forces to challenge Tesla and others in an electric car market expected to grow with Joe Biden’s environment-friendly administration.
Last week, GM announced plans to build a fleet of new electric vans. The partnership comes on the basis of a series of GM announcements to reposition the Detroit giant to compete with Tesla and other newer players.
In a press release, GM and its Cruise subsidiary said that both companies have established “a long-term strategic relationship,” and Microsoft will join GM, Honda, and institutional investors in a new $2 billion equity investment.
“This is a major shot across the bow from Microsoft to Tesla and Waymo and other EV autonomous players that Redmond is on its way,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
This is a very profitable market, especially for the next decades. “There is an arms race in the EV world and this is the latest collaborative deal with many more on their way.
Reports say that Apple is tempted to begin putting its technology to work in self-driving, electric cars although the silicon valley giant has remained silent on the subject.
Microsoft is one of the top players In cloud computing and big data technologies, one of those technologies that might come into play in this deal is “Microsft Azure”, synching GM electric vehicles with Azure computing and artificial intelligence would be the way to go.
Microsoft also will provide hardware and software engineering support to GM as part of the alliance, which values Cruise at some $30 billion.
“Our mission to bring safer, better, and more affordable transportation to everyone, isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race,” Cruise chief executive Dan Ammann said.
“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 CEO Satya Nadella said the venture will help GM and Cruise to “scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”