Cruise and GM have also joined forces with Microsoft to commercialise self-driving vehicles

Cruise car in San Francisco streets

A Cruise car in San Francisco streets. (Credit: Cruise LLC)

Cruise, a US-based self-driving car start-up, has secured a combined new equity investment of over $2bn from Microsoft, General Motors (GM), Honda, and other institutional investors.

The new funding takes the post-money valuation of the self-driving car maker to $30bn.

The company had raised $1.15bn in May 2019 from a consortium of institutional investors that include funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates and existing partners General Motors, Honda, and SoftBank Vision Fund.

Apart from the latest equity investment, Cruise and General Motors have forged a long-term partnership with Microsoft for speeding up the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles.

In this connection, the firms have agreed to bring together their expertise in software and hardware engineering, cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem.

Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said: “Our mission to bring safer, better and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race.

“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.”

Cruise said that it will utilise Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform Azure for exploring the potential of cloud computing for self-driving vehicles.

As Cruise’s preferred cloud provider, Microsoft will in turn make use of the former’s expertise to boost its customer-driven product innovation and cater to transportation firms across the world by continuously investing in Azure.

General Motors will work with Microsoft as its preferred public cloud provider for fast tracking its digitisation initiatives, which include collaboration, storage, and capabilities in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The vehicle manufacturer will pursue opportunities with Microsoft to optimise operations across digital supply chains, nurture productivity, and provide new mobility services to customers faster.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods.

“As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”