Riyadh: NEOM, the sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia, is investing $100 million through the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF) in Pony.ai, a global autonomous driving company. They are also forming a joint venture to develop autonomous technology solutions for the region, NEOM said in a statement on Wednesday.
This joint venture will focus on creating autonomous driving services, advanced vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure in NEOM and key markets in MENA. It will include a state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle manufacturing and research facility in NEOM, leveraging the region’s strategic advantages.
“This investment aligns with the ambitious plans announced by NEOM to achieve autonomous transportation solutions for the region,” said Majid Mufti, CEO of NIF. “Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology is already available today, and we are excited to be able to utilize it in NEOM in the near future.”
NEOM’s unique development offers a testing ground for advancing autonomous mobility as part of its sustainable transport system, powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. The absence of existing infrastructure makes it an ideal environment for developing cutting-edge autonomous land, sea, and air transportation solutions.
“The investment in Pony.ai is an essential part of our ambitious plans to build a smart, zero-emission, autonomous multi-modal transport system, connecting people and communities across NEOM, while incubating new technologies for the benefit of the world,” said Terry Wong, Executive Director, Land Mobility, NEOM. “With this investment, we are moving ever closer towards a new future for commuters and travelers – one that is safer, more convenient, and more sustainable.”
This regional expansion for Pony.ai is a milestone for our global aspirations and our vision of ‘autonomous mobility everywhere’ and will advance the development of the global AV industry into a new stage
Pony.ai holds the distinction of operating fully driverless vehicles in Beijing and Guangzhou and has obtained licenses to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 Cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen).