China’s military is said to have locked vehicles of the US brand Tesla from its facilities, reports »Bloomberg«. Allegedly, this is a response to the fear that the cars, some of which are designed for autonomous driving, could collect sensitive data with their cameras.
According to Tesla, all current models are equipped with eight cameras that can “see” up to 250 meters. There are also twelve ultrasonic sensors with twice the range and a forward-facing radar. With this equipment and a powerful computer, the “autopilot” is controlled, a system that should enable the vehicles to “steer, accelerate and brake” automatically. However, this is not yet fully autonomous, the driver has to constantly monitor the functions.
According to the report, China’s military is primarily afraid of being monitored by the cameras of these vehicles. Anonymous sources reported to Bloomberg that the military had issued an order that Teslas would have to be parked outside of military properties.
Not only Tesla installs cameras
This primarily affects residents of military housing complexes, who – should they own such a car – can no longer bring their purchases to their front door with the Tesla. According to the report, photos of a corresponding notice are circulating on Chinese social networks.
So far, neither the Chinese military nor Tesla have commented on the alleged entry ban for electric cars.
However, if the report proves to be valid, the measure could at least be regarded as a little short-sighted. Because Tesla’s vehicles are very extensively equipped with sensors and cameras. But they are not the only cars that scan their surroundings with optical and radio sensors. BMW, for example, offers a system called Remote 3D View that scans the area around the vehicle with several cameras. Infiniti offers something similar as an “Around View”, Mercedes as a “360 ° camera”.