Microsoft ups its game for self-driving cars with a reported $10 million investment in Gatik, a startup based in California, according to the Reuters news agency. This gesture of confidence from the tech giant leads the company to a valuation of more than 700 million.
The company founded by Bill Gates seeks to make this expense profitable by strengthening Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, which will be used to develop new autonomous delivery technologies for trucks. Gatik is focused on logistics solutions for the retail industry, particularly last mile deliveries.
Among Gatik’s clients is the American retail colossus Walmart, which since 2021 has been testing vehicles without a human driver in the state of Arkansas. In November, both companies highlighted having covered more than 100,000 kilometers without major inconveniences. However, there is always someone in the vehicle in case there are any problems.
Bet on the sector
This is not the company’s first bet in the smart mobility sector. In January 2021, Microsoft invested in Cruise, a $30 billion company owned by General Motors that specializes in autonomous taxis. As with Gatik, the agreement established the use of Azure to increase the available developments.
Microsoft is not the only technology that is directly involved in the sector. Alphabet, the company behind Google and Youtube, is competing with Waymo and the e-commerce colossus Amazon is betting on Zoox. All three companies believe the developments could be “revolutionary” for the transport industry, although their confidence has waned in recent months due to new safety regulations and less accessible financing.
In November, Ford and Volkswagen shuttered their self-driving technology unit, Argo AI. Both automakers claimed that creating autonomous “robotaxis” would be “more difficult than putting a man on the moon.”