The United States is launching an investigation into the national security risks of "connected vehicles," focusing in particular on China-made technology, the US government said Thursday, as worries over data security grow.

The latest probe concerns vehicles that constantly connect with personal devices, other cars, US infrastructure and their manufacturers -- including electric and self-driving cars.

And it comes as vehicles increasingly use advanced tech for navigational tools and driver assist features.

"China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices," said President Joe Biden in a statement.

"China's policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security," he added.

Under Biden's direction, the Commerce Department will look into risks stemming from connected vehicles that use technology from "countries of concern" like China, mulling regulations to address such threats, said the White House.

As part of the probe, Commerce will collect information from the industry and public, with a 60-day comment period.

"China imposes restrictions on American autos and other foreign autos operating in China," said Biden.

"Why should connected vehicles from China be allowed to operate in our country without safeguards?" he added.

Connected vehicles collect vast amounts of data on drivers and passengers, log information on US infrastructure through cameras and sensors, and can be piloted or disabled remotely, the White House noted.

As a result, it said, "new vulnerabilities" could arise if a foreign government gained access to their systems or data.

While there are not many such vehicles containing China-made tech on US roads currently, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stressed the need to "understand the extent of the technology in these cars."

A senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity that it is important to act before there are large numbers of these vehicles in the country, with the Chinese export market in autos growing rapidly and making strong inroads including in Europe.

In November, 14 members of Congress signed letters to 10 China-related companies involved in the auto sector -- including Baidu, Didi Chuxing and AutoX -- raising concerns over the handling of data collected when testing autonomous vehicles in the United States.

The letters noted that from December 2021 to November 2022, Chinese autonomous vehicle companies test drove more than 450,000 miles (724,205 kilometers) in California.

"There needs to be greater transparency around what information you collect while testing on American roads, and whether you are financially tied to the Chinese Communist Party," the letters added.

Beyond autos, the White House said on Wednesday that Biden was issuing an executive order aimed at limiting the flow of sensitive US personal data abroad.