Autonomous vehicles: Legal issues on Survey, Data Collection and Transfer
Autonomous vehicles on roads seems inevitable. In the development of autonomous driving technology, the capability of an autonomous vehicle to “see” and “understand” its surroundings is a prerequisite for the vehicle to making right decisions when driving. Sensors are the eyes and ears of autonomous driving. Information collected by the sensors will need to be processed by software algorithm to enable the vehicle to understand the information and act accordingly. However, both driving a car on China’s public roads to collect data through sensors equipped on vehicles (“Data Collection”) and transferring such data abroad (“Data Transfer Abroad”) may give rise to legal risks under PRC law. Collecting such data by driving a car on China’s public roads will have legal implications in respect of surveying and mapping, China’s restrictions on foreign investment and privacy. Entities that have such data collection plan in China should consider these potential legal risks and adopt mitigation measures to reduce the level of risk.