Abu Dhabi’s newly formed, fully integrated global cluster for Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) is set to drive real change and far-reaching global impact towards promoting the adoption of future mobility services. As the emirate sets the new standard for future transportation and sustainable mobility, the Masdar City headquartered cluster will provide global players with access to state-of-the-art R&D and testing facilities.


Abu Dhabi continues to promote the growth of advanced manufacturing and industrial activity, as it looks to double the contribution of its manufacturing sector to its GDP by 2031. Smart and autonomous vehicles will play a key role in achieving Abu Dhabi’s goals of economic diversification and establishing a knowledge-based economy.


Featuring the entire SAVI value chain in one location, Abu Dhabi’s pioneering cluster offers state-of-the-art facilities and an enabling regulatory environment to support innovation and the commercialisation of smart and autonomous technologies. The cluster is support by a robust ecosystem featuring key Abu Dhabi players, where ADIO is partnering with Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), Technology Innovation Institute (TII), Khalifa University and Hub71 to drive research and innovation efforts. Furthermore, the SAVI cluster will encompass hardware and software R&D labs, small workshops, 3D printing and simulation facilities.


Badr Al-Olama, Acting Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said: “Abu Dhabi is transitioning steadily towards a knowledge-driven economy, where over half of the emirate's GDP now comes from its non-oil sectors. The future of mobility is a key global area of focus, and the newly formed SAVI cluster further advances the emirate’s ambitions of leveraging technology for economic and social advancement, whilst emphasising the development of sustainable projects.”


SAVI will reinforce Abu Dhabi’s position in attracting leading regional and global innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and talent. Housing state-of-the-art research capabilities, alongside original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers will foster meaningful collaborations, enabling synergies and driving exports from locally-developed, homegrown businesses to the world. The SAVI cluster will promote knowledge transfer and the development of national capabilities in a key economic sector as Abu Dhabi creates lasting impact for the future of mobility around the world and towards achieving a zero-emissions future.


MBZUAI President and University Professor, Eric Xing, said: “MBZUAI is a representation of the UAE’s ambition to be an epicenter of AI research, to harness advanced technology, and to contribute to a thriving ecosystem of innovation. Through existing research on smart cities, smart and autonomous vehicles, and mobility, our elite faculty are collaborating with industry and decision-makers to realize this vision. We are delighted to be a part of the SAVI cluster, some of which will take place in close proximity to our campus, and to have welcomed a number of esteemed Abu Dhabi institutions here today to mark the beginning of this partnership.”


Dr. Ray O. Johnson, CEO, The Technology Innovation Institute (TII), said: "Catalysing the future of mobility, our collaboration with SAVI is a testament to our commitment to pioneering innovation at the crossroads of technology and discovery. At TII, we recognize the immense potential of smart and autonomous vehicles in reshaping our world, and we are thrilled to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey. Together with our esteemed partners from across academia, government, and the private sector, we are set to revolutionize the way we move, drive, and connect. With cutting-edge solutions, unwavering dedication, and a shared vision, we are not just building an ecosystem – we are forging a path towards a smarter, more sustainable future for all."


Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “As the research-intensive academic institution that propels innovation in all economic areas, Khalifa University is delighted to partner with key stakeholders in supporting the launch of Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industries (SAVI) cluster in Abu Dhabi, shaping the smart mobility landscape and redefining the way the community moves. Contributing to the creation of such an ecosystem also becomes mandatory in ensuring sustainability and reducing carbon footprint, as Abu Dhabi launches itself into creating a value chain in one location. Khalifa University is already forging pathways towards smart mobility through the UAE’s first driverless, autonomous 12-seater shuttle that transports students and staff around its campuses, the recently inaugurated state-of-the-art Khalifa University Marine Studies and Research Lab, the region’s first-ever advanced robotics research facility equipped with wave and stream generation facilities, and the university’s autonomous drones infrastructure capabilities. Through this visionary program, Abu Dhabi and the UAE will highlight the role of collaborative research and innovation initiatives to usher in impactful, and environmentally-responsible transport solutions.”


“Smart autonomous vehicles will be essential to set Abu Dhabi apart as a world-leading economic center with a focus on mobility technology. The Emirate’s bold ambitions in innovation present startup founders with an attractive opportunity to develop mobility solutions that will pioneer the next generation of vehicles in a city embracing transformation,” Ahmad Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, said.

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