GM teams up with Microsoft on driverless cars

Business

This image provided by General Motors shows the new company logo. General Motors is changing its corporate logo and starting an electric vehicle marketing campaign as it tries to refurbish its image from a maker of gas-powered pickups and SUVs to a clean vehicle company. The 112-year-old Detroit automaker says, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, the campaign will show GM’s progressive company vision as it promises to roll out 30 new battery-powered vehicles globally by the end of 2025. (General Motors via AP)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — General Motors is teaming up with Microsoft to accelerate its rollout of electric, self-driving cars.

In the partnership announced Tuesday, the companies said Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform would be used to “commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.”

Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $30 billion. Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, has been a leader in driverless technology and got the go-ahead from California late last year to test its automated vehicles in San Francisco without backup drivers.

HAMTRAMCK, MI – JANUARY 27: Mark Reuss, President of General Motors, announces that GMs Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will build the all-electric Cruise Origin self-driving shuttle on January 27, 2020 in Hamtramck, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

“Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “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.”

General Motors has been aggressively revamping its image, saying the industry has reached a history-changing inflection point for mass adoption of electric vehicles. The 112-year-old Detroit automaker this month unveiled a new corporate logo to signify its new direction as it openly pivots to electric vehicles. It wants to be seen as a clean vehicle company, rather than a builder of cloud-spewing gas-powered pickups and SUVs.

GM scrapped its old square blue logo for a lower case gm surrounded by rounded corners and an ‘m’ that looks like an electrical plug.

Shares in GM jumped more than 8% in early trading, to $54.07.

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