Emerging 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.

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy

    Article

    Why Waiting for Perfect Autonomous Vehicles May Cost Lives

    Nov 7, 2017

    Some people think autonomous vehicles must be flawless before humans take their hands off the wheel. But putting AVs on the road before they're perfect improves the technology more quickly—and could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

  • 3D printer and printable drone, gun, and airplane turbine.

    Article

    Four Ways 3D Printing May Threaten Security

    May 8, 2018

    3D printing has the potential to improve lives. But it could also bring new perils, such as disrupting weapons regulations and jeopardizing manufacturing jobs. While there's reason to be cautious about this technology, there's also danger in overreacting and overregulating what could be a new era of innovation.

Explore Emerging Technologies

  • U.S. soldiers take pictures of President Barack Obama at U.S. military base Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea, April 26, 2014

    Commentary

    Loose Clicks Sink Ships: When Social Media Meets Military Intelligence

    Social media updates can reveal military intelligence. But stopping a soldier from posting a geotagged tweet or Instagram photo presents challenges.

    Aug 14, 2015

  • A car dashboard computer

    Commentary

    Learning to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet of Things

    Late last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars to fix a defect that allowed hackers to imperil drivers from afar. In essence, what was considered a huge threat was converted into a solved or at least solvable problem.

    Aug 4, 2015

  • Report

    Foresight Services to support strategic programming within Horizon 2020: Foresight report (D3)

    The study investigated the scope for development and optimisation of policy interventions centred around the Horizon 2020 Programme. From a foresight perspective, it explored links between long-term, forward-looking approaches and funding priorities.

    Jul 16, 2015

  • A J-31 stealth fighter of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force landing

    Commentary

    RAND Conference Examines Chinese Aerospace Training and Leadership

    To help foster a better understanding of the aerospace component of China's military modernization efforts, participants from the U.S. Air Force, the DoD, and the public policy research and academic communities gathered for the inaugural CASI conference.

    Jul 10, 2015

  • Michael Rich and Ellen Hancock at the JIE Board meeting in April 2015

    Content

    Ellen Hancock on Technology, Leadership, and Service

    Ellen Hancock has led the RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment (JIE) Advisory Board for three years; she has been a board member for seven. In June 2015, we spoke with Ellen about her experience on the board, how her long career in technology informs her service, and why she believes in RAND.

    Jun 24, 2015

  • Hand touching tablet behind social media diagram and map

    Commentary

    The Clash of Internet Civilizations: Why Neither Side Should Prevail

    The debate over net neutrality pits two opposing philosophies against each other — one pushing for the continued evolution of the Internet as an open information superhighway, the other asserting that the Internet's evolution needs to take more account of the many ways it is and will be used.

    Apr 10, 2015

  • A police officer points a spotlight at a group of demonstrators near Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014

    Report

    Visions of Law Enforcement Technology in the Future

    The Law Enforcement Futuring Workshop identified ten possible future scenarios and 30 high-priority technology needs for law enforcement based on consideration of current and future trends in society, technology, and law enforcement.

    Mar 16, 2015

  • A drone operated by paramilitary police flies over the site of explosions at Binhai new district in Tianjin, China, August 17, 2015

    Report

    Emerging Trends in China's Development of Unmanned Systems

    An exploratory analysis of China's development and use of unmanned systems focuses on maritime unmanned systems, the roles China sees for them, Chinese development of unmanned vehicles, and uses for such systems in the East and South China Seas.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • Report

    Innovation Models: Enabling new defence solutions and enhanced benefits from science and technology

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a study of innovation models and make recommendations on changes the MOD could make to better harness and absorb innovation from external sources.

    Mar 4, 2015

  • Research Brief

    Innovation models for defence

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a study of innovation models and make recommendations on changes the MOD could make to better harness and absorb innovation from external sources.

    Mar 4, 2015

  • Illustration of idea, solution, and money

    Commentary

    Managing Technology in an Unmanageable World

    The need for purposeful and focused R&D in the U.S. has never been greater, but technology is advancing so quickly that the structures available to manage it have not kept pace. A comprehensive examination of the technological landscape is needed to help the government take a more holistic approach to investing in and regulating technologies.

    Feb 19, 2015

  • People pose in front of a display showing the word 'cyber' in binary code, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 27, 2014

    Commentary

    After a Year of Major Hacks, 2015 Resolutions to Bolster Cyber Security

    With numerous data breaches and emerging software vulnerabilities, 2014 was the year the hack went viral. But realizing a few New Year's resolutions in 2015 could help defenders make strides in protection, tools, and techniques to gain the edge over cyber attackers in years to come.

    Dec 31, 2014

  • Evan Spiegel at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    Snapchat CEO Discusses App's Appeal, Future of Digital Communication

    With technology a persistent theme throughout RAND's biennial Politics Aside event, it was only fitting that the proceedings closed with a conversation on social media between Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Pictures, and Evan Spiegel, the 24-year-old co-founder and CEO of Snapchat.

    Nov 20, 2014

  • Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner-designate Carlos Moedas of Portugal waits for the start of his hearing before the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, at the EU Parliament in Brussels September 30, 2014

    Commentary

    Global Collaboration Needs a Firmer Evidence Base

    Policymakers should carry out a robust evaluation to assess the EU's research collaboration to date and its impacts. This review should also compare the EU's portfolio with the achievements of other players in international research. Such evidence would enhance the EU's research procurement strategy.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • Report

    The international dimension of research and innovation cooperation addressing the grand challenges in the global context

    Horizon 2020, the EU's biggest research funding programme, allows the EU to play a central role in solving some of the world's grand societal challenges. This brief informs EU policy decisionmaking on research and innovation funding.

    Oct 23, 2014

  • A girl is tested for malaria at an MSF clinic in Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba, South Sudan

    Commentary

    Probing the Barriers to Conducting Clinical Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Developing clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa requires a more holistic approach that considers not only individuals and institutions concerned with clinical research but also the wider health and research systems in these countries.

    Sep 19, 2014

  • black doctor and microscope

    Project

    Exploring the Current State of Health Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

    While funding is the key problem, clinical researchers seeking to combat infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa cite the lack of policymaker understanding of the importance of their work as a major barrier, above lack of human resources and lack of infrastructure.

    Sep 19, 2014

  • Report

    Identification and Analysis of Technology Emergence Using Patent Classification

    This report describes a new approach to identifying and evaluating technological emergence by analyzing connections among different technology areas using the definitions of technology areas set forth by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Sep 17, 2014

  • scientist in lab

    Project

    Evaluating the Wellcome Trust's African Institutions Initiative

    An evaluation of the Wellcome Trust's African Institutions Initiative (AII) indicates several successes while making recommendations for the future. The AII funds consortia to build sustainable, independent health research capacity at African universities and research organisations, to promote research collaboration and to train individuals for research careers in Africa.

    Sep 12, 2014

  • Multimedia

    Technology Summit for Victim Service Providers

    On July 24, 2014, the RAND Corporation brought together two communities: victim service providers and technology innovators, for a national one-day summit at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley to discuss leveraging technology so victims of crime can quickly and effectively obtain the help they need.

    Sep 8, 2014