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Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Invests $100 Million Into PONY.AI for Autonomous Vehicles
Saudi Arabia’s NEOM Invests $100 MILLION Into PONY.AI for Autonomous Vehicles

Saudi Arabia’s Neom Giga Project Is Investing $100 Million Into Pony.ai, the Autonomous Driving Technology Company, through The Neom Investment Fund To help develop and manufacture Autonomous Driving Vehicles for Neom and key Markets In the Middle East.

Under the new deal, NEOM and Pony.ai will collaborate to develop, manufacture, and deliver autonomous driving services, cutting-edge vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure across NEOM and key markets in the Middle East.

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The Partnership

Image Credit NEOM

This massive investment is more than just financial backing. It begins a joint venture between NEOM and Pony.ai to deliver autonomous driving services, cutting-edge vehicles, and intelligent vehicle infrastructure. 

Majid Mufti, the CEO of NIF, said: “The investment mirrors NEOM’s ambitious intention to introduce autonomous transportation solutions in the region. The autonomous driving technology of Pony.ai is already operational, and we are thrilled to implement it in NEOM soon.”

The Vision

NEOM’s investment in Pony.ai is a significant step towards building a smart, zero-emission, autonomous multi-modal transport system. It aims to connect people and communities across NEOM while nurturing new technologies for global benefit.

Terry Wong, Executive Director of Land Mobility at NEOM, said: “With this investment, we are inching closer to a new future for commuters and travelers — one that is safer, more convenient, and more sustainable.”

The Joint Venture

The joint venture will see the construction of a state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle manufacturing and R&D facility. NEOM, with its strategic industrial location, provides an ideal environment for developing Pony.ai’s autonomous vehicle technology within the region.

Pony.AI as The Autonomous Driving Leader

Pony.ai is renowned for its world-class autonomous driving technology and operational experience. It also holds licenses to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 Cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen).

Dr. James Peng, co-founder and CEO at Pony.ai, said: “We are delighted to partner with NEOM. This major regional expansion for Pony.ai is a milestone for our global aspirations and vision of ‘autonomous mobility everywhere.’ It will advance the development of the global AV industry into a new stage.”

The $100 million investment by NEOM Investment Fund (NIF) has elevated Pony.ai to unicorn status, with the total funding now standing at $1.3 billion, according to Crunchbase, a start-up tracker.

NEOM’s Unique Advantage

NEOM’s unique regional development offers a global living lab for advancing autonomous mobility as a critical part of its multi-modal sustainable transport system, powered by 100% renewable energy. Being constructed from scratch, without the challenge of existing infrastructure, 

NEOM presents the perfect environment for refining and implementing state-of-the-art autonomous mobility solutions on land, sea, and air.

Previous Investments

Image Credit NEOM

The investment in Pony.ai builds on NEOM’s previous investments in the World’s First AI-Designed Livery, highlighting its commitment to multi-modal sustainability and demonstrating the transformative potential of generative AI technology in revolutionizing design methods.

Future of Transportation

Image Credit Getty Images

Autonomous vehicles are considered a significant component of the intelligent mobility market, which is the integration of advanced technology and data-driven solutions to create efficient, sustainable, and user-centric transport systems. 

They are gaining momentum as they are considered a critical part of society’s transition into the next generation of transportation systems, enabled by advanced technologies allowing them to operate with minimal human intervention.

Neom Investment Fund

Image Credit NEOM

The Neom Investment Fund (NIF), a newly formed arm of NEOM, will focus on developing 14 priority sectors by investing globally through mergers and acquisitions and venture capital in technology start-ups. 

Additionally, It is tasked with managing the portfolio for NEOM’s sector assets and companies to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

Shaping the Future of Transportation

Through this strategic investment and partnership with Pony.ai, NEOM is shaping the future of transportation in Saudi Arabia and setting a global standard. 

It underscores the importance of localization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and signals NEOM’s ongoing commitment to building the world’s first truly sustainable, autonomous, and integrated mobility system. With this, NEOM and Pony.ai are driving the future of autonomous transportation.

Automotive Investments

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment (PIF) continues to lead the way in the automotive sector with a recent partnership with Hyundai to build a $500 Million manufacturing plant in the kingdom and the announcement of the new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Company.

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