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NEOM Fund Invests $100 Million In Pony.ai Self-Driving Vehicles

The collaboration will help to develop advanced vehicles and smart infrastructure for NEOM and other regional markets.

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neom fund invests $100 million in pony.ai self-driving vehicles

The NEOM Investment Fund, a newly formed organization that works on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s mega-city NEOM, has invested $100 million in Pony.ai, a California-based autonomous vehicle solutions company.

As part of the investment, a joint partnership will be formed between NEOM and Pony.ai to develop, manufacture, and deliver self-driving autonomous vehicles and their required infrastructure.

The investment aligns with NEOM‘s plans to provide sustainable, hyperconnected transport across the $500 billion urban development, explained Majid Mufti, chief executive of the NIF, who said, “Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology is already available today, and we are excited to be able to utilize it in NEOM in the near future,” he said.

neom investment fund agreement with pony.ai

Pony.ai’s expansion into NEOM isn’t the company’s first entry into the MENA region. Last week, the vehicle firm joined Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry, which will trial its latest technologies at the Yas Island testing zone.

NEOM is a vital part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy, a major economic diversification program that hopes to shift the country’s reliance from the oil industry to technological developments. The NIF will focus on private sector investment and will directly fund solutions piloted and grown in NEOM, which could then be exported worldwide.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Plans Digital Twins For 5 Cities, Including Mecca

The fund will also assume the role of portfolio manager for NEOM’s assets and companies, safeguarding returns for shareholders and investors and underpinning NEOM’s long-term financial sustainability.

The NIF’s strategy is designed to align NEOM’s objectives with those of institutional investors and innovators, “de-risking opportunities for them to participate in creating core global growth businesses and a thriving economy” in the new mega-city, Mr. Mufti explained.

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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.

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adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro
Adobe

After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

Also Read: UGREEN Unveils Nexode RG 65W Charger For Middle East

The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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