Cruise, GM partner with Microsoft to ramp up self-driving vehicles

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A self-driving GM Bolt EV is seen during a media event where Cruise, GM's autonomous car unit, showed off its self-driving cars in San Francisco

By Sanjana Shivdas and Paul Lienert

(Reuters) – Self-driving car maker Cruise and majority shareholder General Motors Co said on Tuesday they would partner with Microsoft Corp to accelerate the commercialization of driverless vehicles.

Microsoft will join GM, Honda Motor Co and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of the San Francisco-based startup to $30 billion.

GM shares continued their recent climb, trading at $54.09, up 8.2% just after U.S. markets opened.

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.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Mark Potter)

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