Skip to content

LiDAR Imports and Exports to and from China Scrutinized by U.S. House Members

A bipartisan group of twenty members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the Secretaries of the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and the Treasury raising concern with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology imports and exports to and from China.

The letter - led by House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) - explains that LiDAR is used in autonomous vehicle systems. Specifically:

"It uses pulsed laser light to measure the distance, speed, and/or altitude of physical objects to map the surrounding environment. The technology is crucial for creating high-definition maps around autonomous vehicles, raising serious national security concerns related to data security, cybersecurity, and exquisite mapping of U.S. infrastructure... There is a serious national security risk that under [China's] National Security Law, all [Chinese] LiDAR companies must provide any available data collected by their products and systems to the CCP, when required."

Click here to read the full letter. 

For these reasons, the lawmakers asked the department secretaries to investigate if import and export restrictions on LiDAR products to and from China are warranted. This letter reflects the growing intersection between automotive, data privacy, and national security policy.