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Monday, 26.02.2024
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

South Korean internet giant Naver said Tuesday it has secured a large-scale deal in Saudi Arabia to build a cloud-based digital twin platform for the kingdom’s futuristic smart city project.

The deal signing ceremony was held in Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday upon President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit.

Naver didn’t reveal the exact size of the deal, but the presidential office hinted that it could amount to $100 million.

Under the agreement signed with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, key Naver affiliates including Naver Labs and Naver Cloud will set up and operate a 3D platform for five cities – Riyadh, Medina, Jeddah, Dammam and Mecca – over the next five years.

The Saudi government plans to use the platform to advance public services such as urban planning, monitoring and flood forecasting.

This is the first time that Naver has secured such a big deal in the Middle East. It is also the first export case of a Korean-made digital government platform, a private-public joint project launched by the Yoon government.

“It is meaningful that Saudi Arabia has recognized our world-class technology,” Naver said. “After comparing Naver’s technology with those of other global tech giants, the Saudi government agreed that we could create a highly scalable digital twin platform in the shortest period.”

Naver said it has developed technologies that can replicate the whole city with only a 10-centimeter margin of error, along with mapping robots and data processing infrastructure. The company touted its large-scale interior mapping technology and stable cloud system that have experienced zero accidents or shutdowns so far.

“The nation- and city-scale digital twin platform requires long-term operation and management. With updated cutting-edge technologies including AI, robots and cloud since the construction of ‘1784,’ we plan to introduce the top-class platform,” said Naver, referring to the company’s futuristic smart office building located in Gyeonggi Province.

The IT giant vowed to work together with startups in Saudi Arabia and Korea by allowing them access to the platform where they can launch new services ranging from smart city development and urban water management to virtual real estate, service robots, autonomous mobility and AI mapping. Naver has already forged a partnership with Korea-based LX and Korea Water Resources Corp.

It also plans to set up a local subsidiary and cloud locations in Saudi Arabia. Adding to that, Naver and the Saudi ministry will discuss using Naver’s hyperscale AI and cloud system to tackle the nation’s pending issues.

“I will keep in mind our predecessors’ hard work in exporting construction plant projects (to the Middle East),” said Chae Seon-ju, Naver's president of ESG and external policy, in a statement. “Based on our advanced IT technologies, we will take the lead in the second wave of Middle East exports.”


Autor(en)/Author(s): Byun Hye-jin

Quelle/Source: The Korea Herald, 24.10.2023

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