Chinese tech startups are testing self-driving cars on California roads

The race on American streets to develop self-driving cars has attracted increasing scrutiny in recent months, but some competitors — China-based tech startups — have received little mainstream attention.

China-based companies have driven hundreds of thousands of test miles on California’s roads in recent years, according to California Department of Motor Vehicles records. Of the 40 companies with licenses to try out autonomous vehicles in California, 10 of them are firms based in China — a bigger share than any other foreign country (Germany, Israel and Japan follow China, and each has two licensed companies in the state)…

Philip Koopman, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on autonomous-vehicle safety, said that similarly, concerns posed by lawmakers could apply to U.S. cars. He noted that virtually all modern cars and trucks can be controlled remotely and can receive over-the-air software updates, making them theoretical targets for a determined adversary.

“Saying that robotaxis present a unique threat to privacy and security is overstated,” he said.

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