Thursday, June 20, 2024

Chinese lidar sensors would bar in US military systems

This week, the House of Representatives advanced a U.S. defense spending bill featuring a provision prohibiting the use of Chinese-made lidar sensors in U.S. military systems. The measure, introduced by Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, aims to prevent the U.S. Defense Department from procuring or deploying the Chinese-manufactured version of this technology. Lidar sensors are integral components in autonomous vehicles and drones, aiding them in obtaining a three-dimensional perspective of their surroundings.

“Increasing the use of autonomous unmanned systems by the U.S. military, my amendment sends a clear signal that the U.S. cannot rely on untrusted lidar that jeopardizes our national security and undermines the competitiveness of American companies,” Stefanik stated.

If passed into law, the measure would add to growing U.S. unease with Chinese-made lidar sensors. In January, the Defense Department added China’s Hesai Group, one of the biggest makers of lidar systems, to a list of companies with alleged ties to Beijing’s military.

Hesai has sued the Defense Department, arguing that the Chinese military does not exert any influence or control over the group and alleging that the designation harmed its reputation.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Reuters last year his agency has national security concerns about such technologies and that there was a need to better understand “the true ownership of the different enterprises that are supplying different elements of our transportation systems.”

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