NEOM Investment Fund invests $100mln in Pony.ai to activate autonomous vehicles in NEOM and across the Middle East

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NEOM Investment Fund invests $100mln in Pony.ai to activate autonomous vehicles in NEOM and across the Middle East
NEOM Investment Fund invests $100mln in Pony.ai to activate autonomous vehicles in NEOM and across the Middle East

NEOM and Pony.ai establish a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and deliver autonomous vehicles, an autonomous driving service, and smart vehicle infrastructure.

Agreement to establish regional R&D and manufacturing headquarters, underscoring the importance of localization in KSA.

Investment signals NEOM’s ongoing commitment to building the world’s first truly sustainable, shared, autonomous, and integrated mobility system.

NEOM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, October 25, 2023: NEOM, the smart and sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia, announces an investment of USD 100 million, through the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF), into Pony.ai, a leading global autonomous driving company. Additionally, a joint venture will be established for autonomous technology solutions for the region.

Through the joint venture, NEOM and Pony.ai will develop, manufacture, and deliver autonomous driving services, advanced vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure in NEOM and key markets in MENA.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NIF, said: “This investment aligns with the ambitious plans announced by NEOM to achieve autonomous transportation solutions for the region. Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology is already available today, and we are excited to be able to utilise it in NEOM in the near future.”

Terry Wong, Executive Director, Land Mobility, NEOM, said: “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. 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 far-reaching and industry-transforming joint venture will include a local state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle manufacturing and R&D facility. NEOM is an ideal strategic industrial location for the development of Pony.ai’s autonomous vehicle technology within the region.

Dr. James Peng, co-founder and CEO at Pony.ai, added: “We are delighted to partner with NEOM to combine Pony.ai’s world-class autonomous driving technology and operations experience with NEOM’s vision to be the ‘the land of the future, where the greatest minds and best talents are empowered to embody pioneering ideas’ to develop, manufacture, and deliver autonomous mobility services and vehicles to the region. As a leading global autonomous driving technology company, this major 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.”

NEOM’s unique regional development provides a global living lab for advancing autonomous mobility as a key part of its multi-modal sustainable transport system, powered by 100% renewable energy. Being built from the ground up without the challenge of existing infrastructure, NEOM offers the ideal environment for refining and implementing cutting-edge autonomous mobility solutions on land, sea, and air and builds on its previous investments in eVTOL and electric seaglider technologies.

Pony.ai is the first to operate fully driverless vehicles in both Beijing and Guangzhou and is among the first in China to obtain licences to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen).

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