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UAE: Air taxis, autonomous vehicles and autonomous technology companies enter Abu Dhabi smart transportation group – News

Savi offers state-of-the-art facilities and value-added services for companies developing advanced technologies in air, land and maritime mobility applications.



Published: Monday, October 16, 2023, 11:24

The world’s leading air taxi company, pioneer in driverless solutions and provider of autonomous technology plan to join Abu Dhabi’s Intelligent and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (Savi) group, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) announced.

Joby Aviation, a California-based company that develops electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger services, plans to participate in the new high-tech group; WeRide, a pioneer in autonomous technologies and services, will establish its regional headquarters; and Marakeb Technologies, a local provider of autonomous systems, will become the first anchor company to develop maritime applications on Savi.

Badr Al-Olama, CEO of ADIO, underlined that the Savi cluster has been launched on an immediate scale and has attracted global companies and talents to promote innovative solutions that shape the future of the transportation and mobility sector.

“The next phase of Abu Dhabi’s industrial development has arrived. The emirate’s Savi cluster is launched on an immediate scale and will generate a new wave of solutions in the field of autonomy in the air, land and sea,” said Al- Olama.

Headquartered in Masdar City, the cluster offers state-of-the-art facilities and value-added services within a conducive regulatory environment for companies developing advanced technologies in air, land and maritime mobility applications. To steer the future of smart and autonomous vehicle operations, ADIO is working with four regulators, including the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Integrated Transport Center (ITC ) and Abu Dhabi Maritime.

Joby Aviation, which plans to launch commercial passenger services using its five-seat piloted aircraft in 2025, hopes to establish a footprint in the group to support the maturation of technology that will allow it to fly its planes autonomously. This month, the company announced the expansion of its flight test program to include flights with a pilot aboard the aircraft.

ADIO will support Joby Aviation by connecting them with relevant partners across the Abu Dhabi ecosystem, including regulators, relevant government departments and potential investors.

JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said: “We welcome the opportunity to participate in the Savi group and look forward to collaborating with the ADIO team as we work towards our mission of providing a fast, quiet and convenient air taxi service in cities. worldwide.”

Meanwhile, WeRide, a leader in driverless solutions, will open a new office in Abu Dhabi, which will serve as a regional headquarters to transform autonomous driving technology into concrete industrial applications and boost mobility and cargo transportation within and outside the Emirate.

China’s WeRide will support Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to promote the adoption of smart and autonomous vehicles around the world, while focusing on creating affordable and accessible solutions.

WeRide is a leading commercial-stage company developing Level 4 autonomous driving technologies. In July, the UAE Cabinet granted WeRide the first national license for autonomous vehicles to operate on the country’s roads.

Jennifer Li, CFO of WeRide, said: “We are delighted to join this new endeavor as part of the Savi cluster, which also marks a major milestone in our two-year robotaxi operation in the city. Our technologies and products focused on urban living fit well with Abu Dhabi’s ambition for autonomous mobility and logistics. Leveraging our strategic partnership with ADIO and our existing local presence, we are excited to join forces with Abu Dhabi to promote AV commercialization, expand areas of operation and pave the way for the implementation of new AV policies and regulations.”

Additionally, ADIO revealed that Marakeb Technologies will become the first anchor company to develop maritime applications on the Savi cluster. Marakeb is a leading provider of autonomous technology for air, land and marine applications that has been developing and manufacturing solutions in the UAE for the past 15 years. It will immediately establish and expand the group’s maritime capabilities.

The addition of companies like Marakeb will also be a catalyst for the growth of related industries, both inside and outside the cluster, boosting the local industrial base and the knowledge economy.”

Marakeb will be able to test new technologies at the cluster’s maritime test zone at Mussafah Port, which houses a port and the Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy. The company, which currently exports to more than 10 countries, will also benefit from the cluster’s global logistics integration.

“As a UAE company, Marakeb will support the development and growth of the cluster by providing its autonomous solutions and technical know-how to enable the next generation of smart vehicle solutions,” Basel Shuhaiber, CEO of Marakeb Technologies.



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