Microsoft raises bet on self-driving cars

Photo: AP

The hi-tech giant Microsoft has joined General Motors, Honda and institutional investors to secure fresh $2bn to Cruise startup aimed at a development of driverless car, Reuters reported. The new equity investment which should accelerate the project and promote the commercialization of self-driven cars expands Cruise to some 30 billion dollars post-money valuation.

The new investment pushes Cruise to the forefront of companies developing self-driving vehicles and technology. Waymo, the self-driving company majority owned by Alphabet, is valued at just over $30 billion, according to investor website PitchBook. Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup backed by Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG, is valued at $7,25 billion.

Cruise will use Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, for its self-driving vehicles. Other automakers, including Volkswagen and Toyota Motor Corp, have used Azure for operations and services other than self-driving.

GM will work with Microsoft to accelerate the automaker’s digitization initiatives, including artificial intelligence, and explore opportunities to streamline operations across digital supply chains and bring new mobility services, including robotaxis and last-mile deliveries, to customers faster.

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