Joe Biden Orders Investigation Into 'Smart Cars' Built in China, Other Foreign Adversaries Over Security Concerns

By Giuliano De Leon

Mar 01, 2024 03:13 AM EST

The administration of President Joe Biden has announced an investigation into "smart cars" built in China and other "countries of concern," citing potential national security risks.

The White House announced it on Thursday, saying that smart vehicles made in China can gather sensitive information about Americans driving them.

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(Photo : Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden pauses while speaking at the SEIU Unions for All Summit on October 4, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Eight Democratic Presidential candidates were scheduled to speak today and tomorrow at the summit.

Joe Biden Administration Investigates Smart Car Built in China

In a press statement, the White House said that Chinese automakers could flood the US market with vehicles that could be used to spy on Americans if drivers connected to these cars' sophisticated technology, such as driver assistance systems, using their phones.

"Connected vehicles collect large amounts of sensitive data on their drivers and passengers; regularly use their cameras and sensors to record detailed information on US infrastructure; interact directly with critical infrastructure; and can be piloted or disabled remotely," the White House said in the statement. 

Joe Biden said he will not let this happen. The president noted that he would take action to make sure that Americans are safe from the dangers of smart cars manufactured by countries of concern, such as China. The US Department of Commerce will reportedly lead the investigation.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Wednesday that they need to understand the extent of the technology in these smart cars that "can capture wide swaths of data or remotely disable or manipulate connected vehicles" to determine whether to take action "under our ICTS [information and communications technology and services] authorities," Engadget reported.

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Why Smart Cars From China Are Dangerous

According to Gina Raimondo, these smart cars built in China and other countries of concern "are like smartphones on wheels" and pose a serious national security risk.

"These vehicles are connected to the internet. They collect huge amounts of sensitive data on the drivers - personal information, biometric information, where the car goes," said Raimondo, as ABC News10 reported.

"So it doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out how a foreign adversary like China, with access to this sort of information at scale, could pose a serious risk to our national security and the privacy of US citizens," she added.

Aside from data collection, Raimondo and other officials said that bad actors could also remotely enable or manipulate connected vehicles.

"Imagine if there were thousands or hundreds of thousands of Chinese-connected vehicles on American roads that could be immediately and simultaneously disabled by somebody in Beijing... So, it's scary to contemplate the cyber risks, espionage risks that these pose," Raimondo noted.

Related Article: Biden Admin Proposes Easing Emissions Restrictions for Cars; Will This Hurt the EV Market?

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