US Transportation Chief Raises Concerns over Chinese Autonomous Vehicle Technology

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently expressed national security concerns regarding the presence of Chinese autonomous vehicle technology within the American market. In an interview with Reuters, he emphasized that similar to concerns raised about telecom companies or social media platforms like TikTok, transportation technologies must also be scrutinized.

Secretary Buttigieg highlighted the need for a comprehensive understanding of the ownership structure of the various enterprises supplying different components of the U.S. transportation systems. This includes both hardware and software aspects, as they play crucial roles in the operation of autonomous vehicles.

In response to these concerns, a bipartisan group of four lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary Buttigieg and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on July 17. The letter urged an investigation into the extent of Chinese autonomous vehicle technology adoption in the United States and suggested potential restrictions on its usage.

The lawmakers’ apprehension centered around the various technologies employed by autonomous vehicles, such as LiDAR, RADAR, cameras, AI, and advanced sensors and semiconductors. They argued that these technologies have the capability to collect data on American citizens and infrastructure, which could potentially be shared with China and, by extension, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Particular focus was placed on AV vehicle and equipment testing in the United States. According to data from California regulators, seven Chinese firms conducted tests of their autonomous vehicles in the state, raising further concerns about data collection and ownership.

As the United States continues to advance its transportation technologies, it is evident that ensuring national security and safeguarding sensitive data will be of paramount importance. The government’s attention to the involvement of foreign entities, particularly those from China, reflects the growing need to strike a balance between innovation, competition, and data protection in the autonomous vehicle industry.

Source: Reuters


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