NEOM has announced an investment of $100 million into Pony.ai as part of a joint venture agreement for autonomous technology solutions in the Saudi Arabian 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.

NEOM is Saudi Arabia’s futuristic city and development project which will invest in Pony.ai as part of their plan to manufacture and deploy autonomous vehicles and smart infrastructure in Neom and key markets in the Middle East North Africa region.

Terry Wong, Executive Director of Land Mobility at 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 travelers – one that is safer, more convenient, and more sustainable.” 

The joint venture will include a local autonomous vehicle manufacturing and R&D facility.

Dr. James Peng, co-founder and CEO at Pony.ai, added:

“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.”

The NEOM lab facility, which will run on 100% renewable energy, aims to provide an 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 licenses to operate fully driverless vehicles in all four Tier-1 Cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen).

Want to keep seeing which stories are sparking the mobility community? Sign up to our MOVEMNT newsletter for weekly updates every Thursday 8am