Crusie, a subsidiary of General Motors, is now partnering with Microsoft to leverage the tech giant’s knowledge and cloud infrastructure.
Beyond this, Microsoft has also invested $ 2 billion (approximately C $ 2.5 billion) in the self-driving program, bringing Cruise’s total valuation to $ 30 billion ( approximately $ 38 billion Canadian).
This brings Microsoft and Cruise together for a long-term strategic partnership, but Microsoft will also be able to invest and work with other autonomous companies.
This means that Cruise now has access to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which should aid in the development of Cruise’s autonomous driving technology. Cloud technology is important for autonomous driving because it enables cars to communicate with each other more effectively, among other improvements.
Cruise is testing autonomous cars in San Francisco, but only employees can ride their vehicles, so it’s still a few steps behind Waymo. Still, the race to autonomous driving dominance is just beginning, so it’s anyone’s game.
Microsoft hasn’t made a big name for itself on the consumer side in the autonomous driving wars, but it continues to compete. There is only some large-scale cloud servers in the world with the power to rival Azure, so one of them, or possibly several, will facilitate the backend of connected cars once they go mainstream.
Microsoft has been working on its own connected car platform with Volkswagen and a few other tech giants in the background that may not be very flashy yet, but could be crucial in putting a car on the road in the future.
Interestingly, it looks like GM, as a company, will also move from using Google’s enterprise suite of cloud computing tools to Microsoft, according to The Verge.