Microsoft partners with GM subsidiary Cruise on self-driving cars

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2021
GM and Cruise are now working with Microsoft to commercialize self-driving vehicles, with the Windows company providing cloud computing resources to assist in the potentially lucrative project.




Cruise and majority shareholder GM confirmed the partnership with Microsoft on Tuesday, described as a "long-term strategic relationship," with the aim of bringing self-driving vehicles to market. The deal will combine the various elements of the three companies, including software and hardware engineering, manufacturing, and cloud computing capabilities.

Microsoft also joins GM, Honda, and other institutional investors in a new equity investment in Cruise worth more than $2 billion, bringing Cruise's valuation to $30 billion.

As well as an investment, Microsoft will be lending Cruise its Azure cloud computing platform and will be Cruise's preferred cloud provider. Microsoft will also be using Cruise's "deep industry expertise" to improve Azure for other transportation companies.

GM will also work with Microsoft on improving its digital initiatives through cloud processing, including projects in AI, machine learning, and collaboration.

"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."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company would "apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream."

At preset, Cruise is testing its driverless vehicles in and around San Francisco. It is also working to create an on-demand ride-hailing service in the area.

The partnership will help GM and Cruise improve their offerings in a very busy autonomous vehicle industry. Apple is expected to be in the running to deliver an autonomous car as well.

News of the Cruise deal occurs at a time when Apple is reportedly in discussions with Hyundai and subsidiary Kia to produce the "Apple Car," a long-rumored electric car with self-driving capabilities. Reports have suggested the first Apple Car could roll off a US-based production line as soon as 2024, with a potential "beta" release in 2022.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Didn't Microsoft's last foray into automobile software (IIRC, there was a tie-up with Ford) end up as an abject disaster?

    What is new/different now? Their software has become better?!
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    Brings all new meaning to “Blue Screen of Death”.
    mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    In the meantime at Tesla, still producing real EV w billions of data collected every day....the race is ON
  • Reply 4 of 16
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Okay, I was wondering when the me-too announcements would come. Waiting for Samsung to announce its autonomous, possibly folding automobile. 😛
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobradavgreg
  • Reply 5 of 16
    seanjseanj Posts: 318member
    Well that’s a freaking terrifying concept...

    Microsoft software trying to drive cars, I wonder if they’ll periodically slow while running a virus scan...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    Didn't Microsoft's last foray into automobile software (IIRC, there was a tie-up with Ford) end up as an abject disaster?

    What is new/different now? Their software has become better?!
    GM has some pretty good in car software with SuperCruise and the fully autonomous Cruise.

    Microsoft appears to be investing and providing the cloud computing backend. Amazon Web Services provides the cloud backend for Tesla.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Microsoft cars will come in brown. They will be released...whatever Apple is doing, so, ah, to make sure...(cough) knock-off (cough) after Apple's car. And the blue screen of death will only accompany actual death.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    zeus423zeus423 Posts: 251member
    I hope it comes in brown to match my Zune!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,484member
    Whew, sure glad I moved to a community where nearly all of my essential needs are within walking distance. 
    beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    dewme said:
    Whew, sure glad I moved to a community where nearly all of my essential needs are within walking distance. 
    But do you have to use crosswalks? There's the rub. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    lkrupp said:
    Okay, I was wondering when the me-too announcements would come. Waiting for Samsung to announce its autonomous, possibly folding automobile. 😛
    Samsung Car folds into a very compact form in the event of a collision.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member
    Didn't Microsoft's last foray into automobile software (IIRC, there was a tie-up with Ford) end up as an abject disaster?

    What is new/different now? Their software has become better?!
    Yes, that was my first thought, too. It was called Ford Sync, IIRC and was so bad some people recommended not buying Fords solely because of the software.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    2025: Apple launches the AppleCar Air

    2027: Microsoft launches the BobCar with a personal assistant that pops up every so often with advice on how to improve your driving. 

    2028: The Microsoft BobCar team holds a mock cremation  for the AppleCar Air, setting fire to one in the car park. The company is fined $2million for the stunt, but reckons the publicity makes it worthwhile. 

    2030: Microsoft pulls out of the automotive and sells what’s left of the division to Withings. 


    MplsPwatto_cobradavgreg
  • Reply 14 of 16
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member
    Rayz2016 said:
    2025: Apple launches the AppleCar Air

    2027: Microsoft launches the BobCar with a personal assistant that pops up every so often with advice on how to improve your driving. 

    2028: The Microsoft BobCar team holds a mock cremation  for the AppleCar Air, setting fire to one in the car park. The company is fined $2million for the stunt, but reckons the publicity makes it worthwhile. 

    2030: Microsoft pulls out of the automotive and sells what’s left of the division to Withings. 


    "it looks like you're driving to the bar! Can I help you get there? Do you want  a sports bar or a redneck bar?"
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,039member
    I do not want a self driving car and moreover do not want to pay for the crap it will take to make a car self driving. Pretty sure I am not the only person who feels this way.

    Then there is the whole problem with data congestion. These systems depend upon steaming data and we all know most urban areas have crap data rates because of too many straws in the margarita glass. That is only going to get worse over time and a lot of 5G will not be well suited to dense urban areas.

    I work in the medical field and have to drive in some really randy weather. I am pretty confident in my abilities and judgement in my AWD vehicle but have absolutely zero faith in any automated system in inclimate weather.
    muthuk_vanalingammobird
  • Reply 16 of 16
    I hope it doesn't do a BSOD going around a corner.
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