New Technologies

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RAND played a pivotal role in emerging technologies throughout the 20th century, from satellites and computers to information-sharing systems, packet switching, and artificial intelligence. RAND now explores the policy implications of emerging technologies across a broad scope of areas such as patient outcomes and health care quality; energy and environmental standards; privacy; military weapon systems; and training teachers and students in the 21st century.

  • Soldiers look at a portable lifting system by Stertil-Koni at the Marine West Military Expo at Camp Pendleton, California, February 1, 2012, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    DIUx: Capturing Technological Innovation

    Nov 23, 2016

    The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) aims to find new sources of advanced technology to give America an edge over potential foes. DIUx is evidence of another form of innovation: organizing in new ways to capture new ideas.

  • Police desk with crime case records containing a mobile phone, photos, and keys, photo by Extreme-Photographer/Getty Images

    Report

    Preparing the U.S. Legal System for Emerging Technologies

    Jan 10, 2017

    Personal technology gathers data that can be useful in criminal justice proceedings. But this can also pose challenges for protecting individual rights. Identifying future conflicts ahead of time can help.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • An artist's rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration between Earth and the moon

    Commentary

    Mining the Moon for Rocket Fuel to Get Us to Mars

    Students from around the world participated in the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They proposed designs of what a lunar launch and supply station for deep space missions might look like, and how it would work.

    May 16, 2017

  • A mobile phone with an app to control wireless devices in a smart home like a washing machine, security camera, door lock, and music player

    Commentary

    Using Digital Data in Criminal Investigations

    Consumers use devices because they want to know how far they walked, to keep a record of communications with friends, and to monitor their homes. But the data is also used by companies to target advertising or the government to access location or health data for a criminal investigation.

    May 15, 2017

  • Person consulting a smart watch with GPS technology

    Commentary

    Using Wearable Fitness Devices to Monitor More Than Just Fitness

    Manufacturers could reinvigorate the market for personal health devices by incorporating measures of health and well-being beyond step counts. Wearables could gauge a neighborhood's air quality, safety, or its level of social connectedness.

    May 14, 2017

  • Blockchain vector background with various icons

    Project

    The Potential Role of Standards in Supporting the Growth of Distributed Ledger Technologies/Blockchain

    RAND Europe informed the British Standards Institution's understanding of the current landscape of DLT/Blockchain and the priority areas for the UK regarding the development of standards, so BSI can develop a strategy to maximise the benefits of this technology for UK and global stakeholders.

    May 10, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD navigates around a dummy at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California June 1, 2016

    Commentary

    How California Is Trying to Keep Autonomous Vehicle Development on Track

    California's Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Will this help retain the state's status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer?

    Apr 10, 2017

  • An aerial view of Foster City, California, April 19, 2009

    Q&A

    Innovation in the Bay Area: Q&A with Nidhi Kalra

    Nidhi Kalra discusses what Silicon Valley startups and policy researchers have in common, whether test-driving autonomous vehicles could really prove their safety, and more.

    Mar 7, 2017

  • A man being interviewed by police in dark interrogation room

    Commentary

    What Data Is the Government Keeping About You?

    Governments are amassing a wealth of data on citizens, a trend that will continue as technology advances. But with no reliable way to ensure that the data is accurate, risks abound. In the criminal justice system, for example, poor quality data could affect individual freedoms and employability.

    Mar 1, 2017

  • Cyber gavel illustration

    Commentary

    Does the Court System Know as Much About ESI as Your Teenager? It Should.

    Electronically stored information (ESI) from smart appliances, fitness trackers, and other devices is making its way into the U.S. court system. Judges and lawyers need to better understand this evidence so they can challenge it or rule on its admissibility in court.

    Feb 21, 2017

  • A teacher pointing to a student for talking in class

    Commentary

    Body Cameras on Teachers Are Not the Answer to Classroom Management

    Teachers at two schools in England are wearing body cameras as part of a pilot program aimed at stopping classroom disruption. How they use the cameras could be counter-productive and may even escalate disruptive situations.

    Feb 13, 2017

  • News Release

    Rise of Technology in Criminal Proceedings Poses Risk to Protecting Individuals' Rights

    Personal devices like fitness trackers and smartphones are likely to be used increasingly in criminal investigations. Such technology offers new tools to law enforcement, but raises unique issues regarding constitutional rights such as self-incrimination.

    Jan 10, 2017

  • The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, taken from an airplane in January 2008

    Commentary

    Approaching Future Offsets

    Grand strategy, acquisitions, and technological considerations may shape the debate about the future of the U.S. military for some time to come. Only where all three elements align are future offsets likely to succeed.

    Dec 21, 2016

  • A Zipline delivery drone releases its payload during a demonstration near San Francisco, California, May 5, 2016

    Report

    What's the Buzz on Delivery Drones?

    Millions of commercial drones may be in the air by 2020. This could make near-instant airborne delivery a reality. But what are the hidden costs?

    Dec 20, 2016

  • The blast furnaces at the now-closed Bethlehem Steel mill remain standing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2016

    Commentary

    America's Shifting Labor Market in a Technology-Driven World

    Making America competitive in a transitioning market will require examining future labor market requirements. Workforce development programs that target building labor capacity for a new economy will be essential.

    Nov 25, 2016

  • Antoine van Agtmael, Lawrence Ingrassia, and Randal Quarles at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    Who Wins Globalization?

    While more needs to be done for those who once worked in industries such as furniture manufacturing, where essentially all activity has moved to lower-cost nations, the U.S. is starting to see an increase in manufacturing activity because of new types of technological advances.

    Nov 14, 2016

  • Nidhi Kalra and Timothy Bonds at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Q&A

    Autonomous Vehicles: Imagining the Day-to-Day of the Future

    At RAND's 2016 Politics Aside event, Nidhi Kalra and Timothy Bonds discuss what daily life might be like once autonomous vehicles populate the roads.

    Nov 14, 2016

  • Susan Dentzer, Eric Topol, and Mark Friedberg at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    The Price of Personalized Health Care

    Medical care in the United States is entering an era where technology can give patients more control over their care and let them take control of their health data.

    Nov 13, 2016

  • The autonomous ship "Sea Hunter" is shown docked in Portland, Oregon before its christening ceremony April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Killer Robots: Moral Concerns vs. Military Advantages

    The U.S. military should balance Americans' ethical concerns over computers making life and death decisions with the need to maintain an edge in the face of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning across the globe.

    Nov 4, 2016

  • Soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, January 24, 2016

    Commentary

    The Pentagon's New Chief Innovation Officer Should Tread Lightly

    The innovation efforts taking place in the Department of Defense are exciting and have much potential. But installing a chief innovation officer with centralized authority who may become just another bureaucratic player among many could spoil those efforts.

    Nov 3, 2016