Walmart is investing in Cruise, General Motors’ majority-owned self-driving vehicle subsidiary, as part of the latest $2.75 billion funding round for the company.
The decision to invest comes about five months after the companies started their development of a pilot program for using Cruise self-driving vehicles for deliveries in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“This investment is a marker for us – it shows our commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars to our customers and business,” Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “We’re excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor ecosystem with the likes of GM, Honda, and Microsoft as we work towards pioneering this emerging technology.”
Furner said Walmart has “been impressed with Cruise’s differentiated business model, unique technology and unmatched driverless testing”.
Walmart has announced partnerships with six self-driving companies, including Cruise, Ford Motor and Alphabet-owned Waymo. The pilot with Cruise is currently under development but the investment is a strong vote of confidence in the company.
A Walmart spokeswoman said it will keep working with other autonomous vehicle companies regardless of the investment in Cruise.