Stories by Patrick Lozada

Expert Voices

China's AVs will think and drive differently

A car with stars for headlights, in the red and yellow of the Chinese flag
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

AVs built in China will look, feel and drive differently because they're being developed in an ecosystem of infrastructure, technical standards and regulatory requirements distinct from those of their U.S. and European counterparts.

Why it matters: Infrastructure investments in particular will help China meet its goal of 10% of vehicles reaching Level 4/5 autonomy by 2030. However, China’s walled-garden approach to AVs will also make it harder for foreign firms to enter the market, and in the long run may limit Chinese AV players as they seek to expand beyond the country’s borders.

Expert Voices

An obscure Chinese commission could change the future of AVs

A black illustrated car with yellow stars for headlights against red backdrop (like Chinese flag)
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released on Dec. 27 a sprawling roadmap for autonomous vehicle development that named an “Internet of Vehicles Development Commission” to lead work on AV policy.

Why it matters: AV leadership by this commission may indicate a more protectionist approach in China, given incentives to carry out President Xi’s goal of limiting reliance on foreign “core technologies.”

Expert Voices

The trade war could crush China's AV dreams

 Illustration of of red car with an American flag boot on the tire
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As part of the Trump administration’s efforts to hold China accountable for unfair treatment of American companies, the Commerce Department on Nov. 19 proposed new export controls, traditionally limited to sensitive weapons technologies, that could bring China’s ambitious autonomous vehicle push to a screeching halt.

Why it matters: The move to block exports of these “emerging” and “foundational” technologies from the U.S., even by non-American companies, would limit partnerships with Chinese firms and possibly the employment of Chinese nationals in the U.S. AV industry, since technical information could qualify as an export.