Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Microsoft said Tuesday it is partnering with General Motors and Cruise to ramp up commercialization of self-driving vehicles.
"Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion," according to a Microsoft statement.
The San Francisco-based self-driving car startup Cruise was founded in 2013 and has been majority owned by General Motors since 2016. The investment brings Cruise's valuation up from an estimated $19 billion in spring 2019.
Under the deal, GM's Cruise will use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service "to commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale," according to a Microsoft statement. Meanwhile, Microsoft will draw on Cruise's "deep industry experience," to improve its product innovation for customers, the statement said.
"Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "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."
Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in the statement the partnership with Microsoft would build trust.
"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 said. "Microsoft, as a 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 last year it would look at ride sharing fleets in the future as it debuted its first autonomous vehicle called the Origin.