Per Tuesday’s announcement: “To unlock the potential of cloud computing for self-driving vehicles, Cruise will leverage Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and edge computing platform, to commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.”
Not only will it get two very lucrative customers for its cloud business (Azure will also become GM’s preferred cloud provider, also per the announcement), but when seen in the broader context of Microsoft’s self-driving car strategy, “Cruise’s deep industry expertise” will possibly give Microsoft a solid foothold into the future of the still-volatile self-driving car industry.
We are not in the business of making vehicles or delivering end mobility as a service offering,” Sanjay Ravi, General Manager of Automotive Industry at Microsoft.
Microsoft has a program to support self-driving car startups by providing them engineering support and discounted access to cloud services.
In October, Microsoft entered a partnership agreement with Wayve, a London-based developer of self-driving car software that was part of Microsoft’s start-up program.
In a broader scale, Microsoft’s wide range of partnerships will enable it to become a growing hub to attract self-driving car startups.
It will use the expertise and experience of these startups to enhance its cloud and AI services for autonomous driving, and in turn attract more customers.