China: Mapping the Future
A crucial piece of technology in driverless cars is high-definition maps or HD maps. The digital maps used in navigation devices and mobile phones today are relatively simple as they are primarily created for humans who are able to understand and follow simple instructions as they navigate. However, autonomous vehicles, machines and robots require a much different type of map purposely built for robotic systems before they can take control of the steering wheel. However, creating HD maps is not only a technological challenge. A far greater challenge (especially for international companies wishing to access China’s auto market) will be government regulation. This article focuses on the legal challenges facing market players including international companies in developing HD maps for autonomous vehicles in China as well as current market practices and our predictions for trends in China’s regulatory policy going forward.