Sep 28, 2019

U.S.-China trade tensions could slow AVs

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A proposed U.S. crackdown on sharing technology with China could threaten the development of self-driving vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Many companies developing autonomous driving systems split their work between the U.S. and China, with offices, investors, engineers and customers in both countries. Unscrambling that egg could be difficult.

  • “Our company would be split in half,” David Liu, CEO of Plus.ai, told WSJ. The American self-driving software developer recently teamed up with Chinese truck maker FAW Group.
  • The U.S.’ proposed controls are “a cloud hanging over every technology company,” he said.

The big picture: China's aspiration to dominate the AV field is heavily dependent on R&D centers in Silicon Valley.

  • Even though some companies don't plan to deploy AVs in the U.S., there's a certain cachet that comes from validating their technology and securing investment in California — the epicenter of AV research.
  • 14 Chinese companies have licenses to test self-driving cars in California, WSJ reports.

What to watch: The Trump administration could use technology controls as a bargaining chip in its ongoing trade confrontation with Beijing, China expert Michael Dunne, CEO of ZoZo Go, tells the paper.

  • “We’re at a crossroads,” Dunne says. “Will it be reciprocal openness or reciprocal protection?”

Go deeper: Why China could be first with self-driving cars

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

Demonstrators gather at Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.