The Marine Transportation System, Autonomous Technology, and Implications for the U.S. Coast Guard

by Scott Savitz, Aaron C. Davenport, Michelle D. Ziegler

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In this Perspective, the authors briefly highlight key aspects of autonomous systems and their potential to affect the Marine Transportation System, as well as how these systems might shape the Coast Guard's associated roles, responsibilities, and capabilities. Legitimate actors, criminals, and attackers, as well as the Coast Guard and many of its partner agencies, will increasingly use autonomous systems. In the next decade and beyond, the Coast Guard will increasingly need to incorporate issues relating to autonomous systems into its strategies, policies, concepts of operations, and tactics.

This research was sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Emerging Policy and conducted within the Strategy, Policy and Operations Program of the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center.

This commentary is part of the RAND Corporation Expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.