The Business Times

China says automakers must have licences for mapping data in smart cars

Published Thu, Sep 1, 2022 · 07:34 PM

CHINA has said that automakers must apply for licences to collect geographic data using sensors on their intelligent vehicles, highlighting Beijing’s security concerns about the growing sophistication of smart cars’ mapping capabilities.

The statement, a clarification of China’s surveying and mapping law, reflects regulators efforts to prevent any scenario where highly-detailed visual data collected by smart cars could fall into the hands of hostile foreign actors.

The rules, effective since publication, could further complicate the local operations of foreign companies like Tesla, which already have to seek partnerships with Chinese firms when it comes to collecting and processing such data.

Automakers and developers of autonomous driving software should either apply for mapping licences or ask a licenced company to collect, store, transform and process geographic data, according to the statement published on Tuesday (Aug 30) by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The official newspaper of the ministry said that the rapid development of China’s intelligent and connected vehicle industry meant a “safety bottom line” had to be drawn for the “real-time high-precision coordinates, high-definition images and other data support” on which it is highly dependent.

The global market for the intelligent and connected vehicle industry is projected to reach US$470 billion in 2030, Wan Gang, vice-chairman of China’s national policy-making advisory body, told a conference in Beijing on Saturday.

GET BT IN YOUR INBOX DAILY

Start and end each day with the latest news stories and analyses delivered straight to your inbox.

VIEW ALL

Vehicles such as self-driving cars need to collect large amounts of geographical data in order to create high-precision maps that are essential for accurate and safe navigation.

China has so far issued mapping licences to more than 20 companies including search engine giant Baidu and Tencent-backed mapping company Navinfo. REUTERS

KEYWORDS IN THIS ARTICLE

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to  t.me/BizTimes

Transport & Logistics

SUPPORT SOUTH-EAST ASIA'S LEADING FINANCIAL DAILY

Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Browse corporate subscription here