GM and Cruise Partner with Microsoft to Utilize Cloud Capabilities for Automotive Manufacturing

February 10, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

Both Cruise and General Motors choose Microsoft Azure as their preferred cloud provider to harness cloud capabilities and innovate the manufacturing of self-driving vehicles.

Cruise LLC is an American company that specializes in the testing and development of autonomous vehicle technology. The company started by graduating from start-up accelerator Y-Combinator and in 2016 was acquired by General Motors (GM). 


Cruise, Microsoft, and GM logos. Image courtesy of Microsoft


Recently, Cruise and GM announced their entry into a long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft in a joint endeavor to push forward the commercialization of self-driving vehicles. 


Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is the company’s public cloud computing platform that provides users over 200 cloud products and services. Services include networking, storage, compute, analytics, and more. The platform was designed to help businesses navigate challenges and meet organizational targets. 

Azure is backed by a yearly $1 billion investment in security and R&D. The platform is also supported by 3,500 cybersecurity experts to reassure customers, the government, enterprises, or start-ups, that their data is safe. 

Azure provides solutions for various industries, including healthcare, retail, financial services, e-commerce, and manufacturing. It also provides services for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. 


Cruise, GM, and Microsoft

Cruise will utilize Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform to scale-up and commercialize its autonomous vehicle solutions. The goal is to combine Cruise’s industry expertise with Azure’s software knowledge to bring Cruise’s solutions to transport companies worldwide. 


A look into manufacturing at Cruise. Image courtesy of Cruise


In a recent news release, CEO of Cruise, Dan Ammann provided his comments, “Our mission to bring safer, better, and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race.” 

Ammann added, “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.”

In the same news release, CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, said, “Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods.” Nadella added, “As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”


Millions Go Into New Equity Investment 

Together, Microsoft, GM, Honda, and other institutional investors will all be in a new equity investment of over $2 billion in Cruise. This will bring the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.

GM will be collaborating with Microsoft to push forward its digitization initiatives. These include collaboration, storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities. GM’s main focus will be using Microsoft’s capabilities to help grow productivity and provide customers with mobility services. 

To do this, GM will work with Microsoft to streamline operations across digital supply chains. 

“Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realize even more benefits from cloud computing as we launch 30 new electric vehicles globally by 2025 and create new businesses and services to drive growth,” Barra added.

The companies hope these partnership and investment opportunities will drive innovation and cloud capabilities in the automotive industry.