Neom, the smart, regional greenfield development being built in Saudi Arabia, which includes The Line smart city, has announced investments in both autonomous vehicles and electric sea gliders. It will invest $100m through the Neom Investment Fund (NIF), into Pony.ai, a global autonomous driving company.
Additionally, a joint venture will be established for autonomous technology solutions for the region.
NIF has also closed an investment into Regent, the US-based electric seaglider manufacturer. It makes Neom the largest single contributor in Regent’s series A round, enabling the company to take its technology to the next stage. The investment is part of a multi-year partnership to establish seaglider passenger operations in the region.
Autonomous and advanced vehicles
Through the AV joint venture, Pony.ai and Neom will develop, manufacture and deliver autonomous driving services, advanced vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure in Neom and key markets in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The investment in Pony.ai is an essential part of our ambitious plans to build a smart, zero-emission, autonomous multimodal 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 travellers – one that is safer, more convenient, and more sustainable.”
The joint venture will include a local autonomous vehicle manufacturing and R&D facility.
Pony.ai claims it is the first to operate fully driverless vehicles in both Beijing and Guangzhou and is among the first in China to obtain licenses to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 Cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen).
Neom’s investment in seaglider company Regent is part of a multi-year partnership with Regent to establish seaglider passenger operations in the region. It includes a commitment by Regent to establish a Middle East R&D and training hub to support seaglider enablement as well as infrastructure and operational readiness.
Read more: smartcitiesworld.net