The Record - Issue 20: Spring 2021

26 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om MAR K E TWATCH M icrosoft has begun 2021 by announcing a series of collaborations with automotive partners to drive innovation via the Azure cloud. In January, the firm partnered with General Motors (GM) and its self- driving vehicle subsidiary Cruise to use Azure to accelerate the delivery of autonomous transportation and self-driving vehicles. Microsoft said that the organisations will “bring together their 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”. “Microsoft is a great addition to the team as we drive toward a future world of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said Mary Barra, chairman and CEO at GM. “Microsoft will help us accelerate the commercialisation of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles and help GM realise 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.” In February, Microsoft also announced a collaboration with Bosch to develop a software platform to improve in-vehicle software development. Through the collaboration, the businesses aim to simplify and accelerate the development and deployment of vehicle software throughout a car’s lifetime in accordance with automotive quality standards. The new platform, which will be based on Azure and use software modules from Bosch, will enable software to be developed and downloaded to the control units and vehicle computers. For drivers, the Azure cloud helps drive automotive innovation Microsoft, General Motors and Cruise will use Azure to accelerate delivery of self-driving vehicles