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)
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a big-business think-tank that authors "model legislation" at the local, state and national level that benefits corporations at the expense of everyday people; their greatest hits make for scary reading -- you can thank ALEC for ag-gag laws, stand-your-ground laws, private prisons, bans on municipal ISPs, killing Obamacare […]
In 1955, MIT- and Caltech-educated Qian Xuesen was fired from his job teaching at JPL and deported from the USA under suspicion of being a communist sympathizer; on his return to China, he led the country's nuclear weapons program and became a folk hero who is still worshipped today.
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