Autonomous cars: Microsoft joins the General Motors project

Posted on Jan 19, 2021 5:13 PMUpdated Jan 19, 2021, 6:25 PM

Cruise is showing the muscles to find a place in the highly competitive environment of autonomous vehicles. On Tuesday, the General Motors (GM) subsidiary announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with US computer giant Microsoft, valuing the San Francisco-based company at more than $ 30 billion.

Microsoft will on the one hand bring, alongside Honda, GM and other investors, more than $ 2 billion to Cruise, details a statement released Tuesday.

The group specializing in new technologies will also forge a “long-term strategic partnership” with GM intended to “accelerate the marketing of autonomous vehicles” through collaborations in engineering or cloud computing ( cloud) for example.

Catch Up on Alphabet

Cruise notably plans to use Microsoft’s IT platform, Azure, in its vehicles. “Our mission to provide safer, better and more affordable transportation for all is not just a technology race – it’s also a race for trust,” said Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise, in the communicated.

“Microsoft, as a benchmark in the democratization of technology, will help us increase our capacity to market our fleet of autonomous, fully electric and shared vehicles,” he added.

Above all, this alliance should allow Cruise to catch up on his main rival Waymo. Largely in the lead in the number of hours of testing carried out with its autonomous cars, the Californian firm owes its lead largely to its access to software developed by Alphabet, its parent company.

The future of GM?

At $ 30 billion, Cruise is worth just under half of GM on the stock market (around $ 76 billion now). The title of the automaker jumped more than 7% in the first trading of the session on Wall Street Tuesday.

Under the leadership of its boss Mary Barra, GM has stepped on the accelerator in recent months for the development of electric and autonomous vehicles, considered the future of the automobile. GM plans to invest $ 27 billion in this niche by 2025.

Sources AFP, Reuters

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