President Biden has ordered an investigation into the national security risks associated with Chinese-made “smart cars” with internet connectivity, particularly focusing on electric vehicles (EVs).


Concerns have been raised about the potential for China to exploit advanced technology in connected vehicles, with a specific emphasis on the collection of sensitive data that could be sent back to China. The investigation will also explore the risks associated with autonomous driving features that could be remotely controlled or disabled [6]. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has highlighted the serious national security risk posed by connected cars, as they collect sensitive data and could be used for espionage or sabotage. The White House has emphasized the need to prevent China from dominating the automobile market and imposing unfair restrictions on American autos operating in China [1]. The Commerce Department is leading an investigation into these vehicles [2] [4] [5], seeking input from the auto industry and the public on potential regulations [5]. The focus is on the high-tech software [2], cameras [2], and sensors in these vehicles that could be exploited for data collection or sabotage [2]. The Bureau of Industry and Security will explore how internet-connected vehicles could be used for espionage or sabotage [8]. The US government’s concerns about Chinese technology ambitions have led to restrictions on advanced chips and a TikTok ban for federal government devices [8]. Chinese automakers [5] [8], such as BYD [8], are becoming major players in the global market [8], with China aiming to dominate the auto market [8]. The Alliance for American Manufacturing has labeled China a significant threat to US car manufacturers and urged policymakers to take action [8]. US automakers are facing a competitive disadvantage against Chinese automakers [8], who benefit from subsidies and protections for EV production [8]. The Biden administration is working with allies to develop standards for autonomous vehicles to address these risks [8]. The investigation into national security risks will extend to Chinese-made components and technologies [8], including lidar systems [8]. Restrictions may be applied to American-made EVs using Chinese software [6], impacting companies like Lotus and Volvo with Chinese owners [6]. Chinese EV makers have been focusing on exporting to South-East Asia [3], the Middle East [3], and Europe [3], with BYD [3], the world’s largest EV maker [3], stating it has no plans to sell cars in the US market [3]. The Biden administration is investigating Chinese-made “smart cars” over national security concerns related to data collection on American drivers [5] [7]. President Biden aims to prevent China from using advanced technology in connected vehicles to track personal information [7]. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo highlighted the risks of connected cars being remotely manipulated by foreign adversaries [7]. The Commerce Department plans to issue a proposed rulemaking to investigate national security risks posed by connected vehicles from China and other hostile countries [5] [7]. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation supports Biden’s goal to protect public safety but urges caution in targeting transactions that pose undue risk to economic and national security [7]. The Alliance for American Manufacturing agrees that data security of connected vehicles is critical to national security [7], especially when manufactured by Chinese companies [7].


The investigation into national security risks posed by Chinese-made “smart cars” with internet connectivity, particularly focusing on EVs, highlights the importance of safeguarding sensitive data and preventing potential exploitation by foreign adversaries. The Biden administration’s efforts to address these risks through regulations and collaboration with allies underscore the need for a comprehensive approach to protecting national security in the rapidly evolving automotive industry.