cloud privacy issues
Are these self-driving cars going to be uploading any part of the video feed with a Windows-style "telemetry" excuse? Would such data be able to be aggregated across many self-driving cars to identify and track other cars on the road, either through their license plates or tagging and tracking other vehicles while they're in your field of view, and using the cloud part to fill in for discontinuities ("white van was tracked until point A, then lost; another sighting at point B is consistent with being the same white van, ...").
An autonomous driving system obviously needs to be able to be aware of other vehicles and make sure that it doesn't forget that they could still be around (temporarily in a blind spot or obstructed from view) before making manoeuvring decisions, but surely there are issues if these data are being aggregated in near-real time in a cloud somewhere.
Also, why stop at tracking vehicles? Surely it would need to have awareness of pedestrians, too. Maybe the current crop of cars are more suited to highway driving or driving somewhere like the US, where vehicles have right of way, so ignoring pedestrians who might suddenly walk out in front of you might make sense (until you have to go into collision-avoidance mode). For city driving, though, and in countries where jaywalking isn't a crime, surely they'll have to follow the same rules as for human drivers. Part of that is being able to figure out where pedestrians are or might be, and reading their intent, at least to some degree. Obviously, simple things like seeing that they're very close to the kerb or partly on the road is a good sign that they're looking for an opportunity to cross(*), and that can be handled by simple physical rules based on distances/location. However, reading intent is often much more complicated. If you want computers to be as good as humans, you're going to have to include things like how they act (do they turn around to look at the road as they approach a crossing, or look up at a traffic light), and figuring out where their attention is directed.
All this analysis of pedestrians (and tracking them, obviously) probably won't make it into first-generation cars, so in the initial (training) stages at least, manufacturers are going to be slurping a lot of so-called telemetry data. You can't say that blurring faces or whatever is a solution because they will need facial features to do things like gaze tracking or to judge how aware the person might be of traffic (or, eg, they're talking on a mobile phone or texting rather than paying attention to other things). The easiest thing is just to slurp everything they can, but if real-time tracking is the norm from the outset, it's hard to see how spy agencies or whatever (or even just traffic police) wouldn't want to tap into that and make sure that they continue to be able to use the system even after the AI part has been trained and downloaded as a set of real-time rules that can run on the car.
I'm sure that these sorts of concerns would definitely be looked at in Europe or the US, but in China? Somehow, I don't think so.
* another, unrelated scenario with self-drive cars strikes me. If you're coming to a crossing and you see someone that you know (or think you know) and make eye contact and give them a nod or something, how are they going to interpret that? Maybe they don't know that you're not the driver. If you were the driver, they could take your gesture or general demeanour as giving them the OK to cross the road in front of you. The car's not going to understand that...