Driverless cars: Microsoft takes the driver’s seat.

Let’s be honest. We’ve been hearing about driverless cars for years now. General Motors promised that we’d have them by 2020. Not to be outdone, Elon Musk claimed Tesla would launch in 2018. When that didn’t happen, he pushed his forecast out to 2020.

But it’s 2021 and we’re still waiting (probably not so much with bated breath anymore).

But things are getting interesting

A recent announcement not only caught our eye but made us sit up a little straighter. Because it looks like General Motors has taken their head out of the clouds and into the right Cloud. In collaboration with Cruise (electric self-driving car company) both have entered a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft, to unlock the potential of Cloud computing for self-driving vehicles.

Azure to accelerate driverless cars

Cruise believes that Azure, Microsoft’s Cloud and edge computing platform, will accelerate the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles. And this doesn’t seem to be just another quick race to the finish line. This one is being thought through carefully and methodically.

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

He also pointed out that, “Microsoft, as the gold standard in the trustworthy democratisation of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialise our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles.”

The rule of three

It seems like the perfect fit. Microsoft News explains that the three companies will combine a powerhouse of shared proficiencies – software and hardware engineering excellence, Cloud computing capabilities, manufacturing know-how and partner ecosystem to transform transportation to create a safer, cleaner and more accessible world for everyone.

The power of Azure taking driverless cars mainstream

We live in an age of convenience. Want a taxi? Click a button on your phone. Need a midnight snack? Another tap on an app and someone will come to your door, food in hand. Technology has completely changed how we live, but it’s also opened our eyes to the negative effect our need for convenience has had on the planet. GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra is hoping to change all of that, stating, “Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains, “As Cruise and GM’s preferred Cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”

Leader of the pack

It’s not a surprise that GM and Cruise’s preferred Cloud provider is Microsoft Azure. They’re one of the biggest Cloud giants on the market. They beat Amazon for the US government’s Project Jedi contract, and even more telling is that more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using Azure.

The agility of Microsoft Azure is why they’re our preferred Cloud partner too, helping us to transform our client’s businesses into a hybrid workplace.

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