Discover more from Middle East AI News
New $60m +VC fund; Smartkas forms UAE smart farming venture
Here’s your weekly Middle East AI News!
Lighter on news this week (which means I wasn't working late into the night yesterday!).
The story of the week is probably UAE-based smart transport firm Ion's apparent driverless shuttle service plans for Sharjah, following a successful trial in the University City of Sharjah education district. Ion already has a partnership with Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority, although currently for a future electric vehicle service, not driverless vehicles.
Ion's autonomous vehicle trial is one of a number of trials in the region. Last year Chinese startup Neolix announced a partnership with ecommerce brand Noon to start driverless delivery vehicle trials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In fact, Neolix driverless vehicles were seen making deliveries in Sharjah in conjunction with iMile Delivery Services and Huawei in a Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) trial earlier this year.
Dubai introduced new regulation to allow trials of autonomous vehicles this year. This was followed by driverless bus tests at the Expo 2020 Dubai site by Dubai's RTA. The UAE government has a goal is to make 25 percent of transport autonomous by 2030.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) also began driverless shuttle bus trials during the past twelve months.
I should also mention, Saudi Arabia's Global AI Summit is now open for registration! The virtual event takes place 21-22 October and speakers announced so far include Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group; Dr. Feiyu Xu, the new Global Head of Artificial Intelligence at SAP; and Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures.
Stay safe & have a great weekend!
#Bahrain #MENA #venturecapital - A new $60 million venture capital fund in Bahrain will invest in 120 early-stage start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa region over the next three years. The Plus Venture Capital (+VC) fund, will be led by Sharif El Badawi and Hasan Haider, previously managing partners at venture capital firm 500 Startups. (The National)
#Saudi #transport - Saudi AI startup Hazen.ai, which creates systems for road safety, has developed Mobile Phone and Seatbelt Detection device, designed for traffic enforcement authorities. The startup last year secured funding from Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures. (Vision Systems)
#UAE #AVs - A fleet of driverless shuttles is getting ready to hit the road after a successful trial in Sharjah. The eco-friendly vehicles are operated by UAE-based smart transport firm Ion, in partnership with leading French autonomous vehicle technology company Navya. (The National)
#UAE #agritech - Dutch agritech startup Smartkas and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Department of Projects have formed a joint venture to develop hi-tech farms in the UAE. Smartkas develop “smart greenhouses” using the latest technology such as AI, cloud computing, drones and robotics to help boost food security in the UAE and across the GCC, (The National)
#UAE #edge - New research from HPE wireless networking subsidiary Aruba shows that 61% of the UAE"s IT leaders are already actively using Edge technologies to deliver new outcomes. Meanwhile, 42% of IT decision makers considered business acceptance of autonomous decision making by Edge devices as the top concern. (Zawya)
#Israel #UAE #funding - Israeli investors and entrepreneurs got a glimpse of the tech opportunities available in the UAE through an online event hosted by Emirates Angels and OurCrowd on October 13. (Times of Israel)
Follow Middle East AI News on LinkedIn
View last week’s newsletter
Sign-up to receive Asia AI News Daily too!
Carrington Malin is a UAE-based entrepreneur, marketer and writer who focuses on emerging technologies.