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NEOM's Investment in Pony.ai

NEOM, the groundbreaking smart and sustainable regional development project located in northwest Saudi Arabia, has announced a substantial investment of $100 million through its NEOM Investment Fund (NIF) into Pony.ai, a globally recognized autonomous driving company. This strategic partnership will also pave the way for the establishment of a joint venture that will focus on the development and deployment of cutting-edge autonomous technology solutions across the Middle East.

The joint venture between NEOM and Pony.ai represents a significant step toward the advancement of autonomous mobility and innovation. Under this collaboration, the two entities will collaborate to create, manufacture, and deliver autonomous driving services, advanced vehicles, and smart vehicle infrastructure, initially within the NEOM region and later expanding to key markets across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Pony.ai has gained prominence in the autonomous driving sector by achieving several notable milestones. Notably, it became the first company to operate fully driverless vehicles in major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Guangzhou. Additionally, it secured licenses to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 cities in China, which includes Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Dr. James Peng, co-founder and CEO at Pony.ai, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with NEOM, emphasizing the fusion of Pony.ai’s world-class autonomous driving technology and operational expertise with NEOM’s vision of becoming “the land of the future.” Together, they aim to empower the greatest minds and talents to pioneer groundbreaking ideas in the development, manufacturing, and delivery of autonomous mobility services and vehicles within the region. He sees this partnership as a significant milestone in Pony.ai’s global aspirations, promoting their vision of “autonomous mobility everywhere” while advancing the global autonomous vehicle (AV) industry to new horizons.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NIF, highlighted the alignment of this investment with NEOM’s ambitious plans for achieving autonomous transportation solutions in the region. Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology is readily available today, making it a valuable asset that will soon find practical application within the NEOM project, further solidifying NEOM’s status as a global leader in sustainable and innovative urban development.

Terry Wong, Executive Director of Land Mobility at NEOM, emphasized the integral role of the investment in Pony.ai within their overarching vision. NEOM’s ambitious plans revolve around the creation of a smart, zero-emission, autonomous multi-modal transport system designed to connect people and communities across the vast NEOM region. Simultaneously, they aim to incubate new technologies that have the potential to benefit the world at large. The $100 million investment in Pony.ai is a crucial stepping stone toward realizing a future for commuters and travelers that is not only safer but also more convenient and environmentally sustainable.

This groundbreaking partnership is set to propel NEOM into the forefront of sustainable urban development by harnessing Pony.ai’s extensive experience in autonomous driving technology. With NEOM’s vision of creating a model city for the future that is deeply rooted in innovation and sustainability, the collaboration with Pony.ai represents a significant stride toward achieving these objectives.

The region of NEOM, known for its commitment to sustainable development and cutting-edge technology, has made substantial progress in recent years. The $100 million investment in Pony.ai signifies a major leap forward in the realm of autonomous mobility and smart city initiatives. As the NEOM project continues to unfold, it is likely that we will witness groundbreaking advancements in autonomous transportation solutions and the integration of state-of-the-art technologies to create a better, more sustainable future.

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