The sensors in those self-driving cars have become an international dispute

A key technology in futuristic cars is quickly becoming a new flashpoint in already fraught relations between the U.S. and China.

The development of “lidar” sensor technology has helped fuel the rise of driverless robotaxis roaming cities like San Francisco and Phoenix. But as automakers prepare to deploy lidar-enabled features such as adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection in more consumer vehicles, the homegrown industry is mounting a wide-ranging lobbying offensive against a leading Chinese rival that’s stepping up its own PR game.

The San Francisco-based lidar firm Ouster is appealing to Congress to stop the hemorrhaging by stoking fears that Chinese versions of the technology could be used to spy on Americans and deliver intelligence about sensitive U.S. infrastructure to Beijing.

Receive Our Newsletter

Get the latest Safety21 news sent to your inbox.