Self-driving cars require incredibly accurate, up-to-date maps; in China, only Chinese companies will be able to make these maps. Nominally, this is about preventing espionage, but it also has the non-coincedental effect of forcing foreign autonomous vehicle companies to partner with (much more easily controlled) Chinese firms, a policy already in place for traditional auto manufacturing.
Chinese firms like Baidu and TuSimple are already working on autonomous driving. Their ability to map roads in their home country unrestricted may give them an advantage there, something the Chinese government probably wouldn't mind. It's already tried to boost the domestic electric-car industry by inflating demand through generous purchase incentives, so why not do the same with self-driving cars?
China Blocks Foreign Companies from Mapping Its Roads for Self-Driving Cars [Stephen Edelstein/The Drive]
(via Naked Capitalism)
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