Autonomous driving is the new craze in the market, and many companies have been launching their own versions of the technology from quite some time, most notable of them being Tesla. However, so far, no one has been able to achieve a fully autonomous driving solution. That being said, some of them are farther ahead than others, and Cruise is definitely one of them. Today, the company completed a $2 billion funding round, partnering with Microsoft.
The round, which values the company at a whopping $30 billion, saw participation from GM, Honda and other institutional investors as well.
While the $2 billion investment is certainly great, Microsoft and Cruise think that this deal was bigger than just an exchange of money. According to the new partners, their collaboration will open up the doors for a fully stacked autonomous driving solution.
Microsoft operates the cloud computing platform Azure. Autonomous driving tech generates a massive amount of data due to the implementation of various Machine learning operations, and thus, you can’t make an extensive solution without the help of cloud computing. Azure will allow Cruise to work on and store a massive amount of data, offering its services at a discounted price.
Cruise plans to bring its solutions to a commercial scale with this funding, and Microsoft’s help will go a long way towards fulfilling that goal.
“Our mission to bring safer, better, and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race,” said 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.”
On the other end, Microsoft will be able to test new cloud solutions on data collected through Cruise’s operations, and improve its products. The company will be able to enhance its customer-driven product innovation and serve transportation companies across the globe through continued investment in Azure.
“Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”