Transportation Technology

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  • Commentary

    Opportunities for the Brazilian Navy to Employ Additional Unmanned Systems

    The Brazilian Navy needs to have both the capabilities and capacity to meet a wide range of demands over vast and diverse geographic areas. What are some of the potential ways the Brazilian Navy could use unmanned systems to improve effectiveness and, potentially, reduce risks and costs?

    Aug 10, 2021

  • Report

    When Can Automated Vehicles Be Considered Safe Enough?

    Establishing whether automated vehicles are acceptably safe is not straightforward, and continual technology development adds complication. Agreeing on the approaches to assess AV safety and improving communication about safety are important for building and sustaining public trust.

    Oct 29, 2020

Explore Transportation Technology

  • A self driving car, often referred to as a robotaxi, at the Embarcedero in San Francisco, California, August 17, 2023, photo by Gado Images/Reuters

    Commentary

    Reining in the Risks of Robotaxis

    Robotaxis are a complex tangle of technology and services with multiple stakeholders, so regulation is messy. There is, however, a process that has been designed to deal with such messy situations. It's called decisionmaking under deep uncertainty.

    Feb 5, 2024

  • The large unmanned surface vessel Nomad transits the Pacific Ocean to participate in Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, June 22, 2022, photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler R. Fraser/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Creating the Uncrewed-Centric Navy of the Mid-21st Century

    The emergence of uncrewed technologies can enable the Navy to achieve greater capacity and operate in harm's way by avoiding over-concentration of combat power in too few assets.

    Nov 30, 2023

  • Smart car (HUD) and Autonomous self-driving mode vehicle on metro city road with graphic sensor signal, photo by zapp2photo/Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    A Comparative Look at Various Countries' Legal Regimes Governing Automated Vehicles

    This article summarizes the makeup of AV legal regimes of Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom, with a focus on law and policy relating to highly to fully automated vehicles.

    Nov 27, 2023

  • A Navy Research Laboratory unmanned surface vehicle near Panama Beach, Florida, November 9, 2020, photo by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

    Commentary

    Revive the Ram

    In the face of aggressive maneuvers by Chinese vessels, the U.S. Navy can brandish ramming unmanned surface vessels as a capability to inhibit threats while limiting the risk of escalation. These relatively simple, inexpensive vehicles could be used alongside a variety of nonlethal weapons to manage confrontations, giving commanders more options.

    Jun 22, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Rethink Mine Countermeasures

    Despite efforts to reduce the timelines, costs,and risks associated with MCM operations, mines remain cost-imposing weapons that can deny access for protracted periods or inflict unacceptable losses on the U.S. Navy.

    May 23, 2023

  • Numerous square concrete blocks are stacked on top of each other underwater to create an artificial reef, photo by Placebo365/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Defending Taiwan with Artificial Reefs

    Deterring a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is arguably the most important defense problem of the next few decades. Artificial reefs could help to deter China simply by waiting to impale any potential invasion force.

    May 10, 2023

  • A Coast Guard unmanned aircraft system hovers during training in Astoria, Oregon, February 24, 2023, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diolanda Caballero/U.S. Coast Guard

    Commentary

    Coast Guard Leans Forward in New UxS Strategy but Faces Significant Challenges

    The rise of unmanned systems creates a challenging landscape for the U.S. Coast Guard as it endeavors to conduct its diverse missions in the future. To address emerging technologies and prepare for forthcoming threats, the service recently released a strategic plan.

    May 3, 2023

  • Sacks of lithium carbonate at Albemarle Lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada, October 6, 2022, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Commentary

    Do Car Companies Know Where Their Critical Minerals Come From?

    The initial slate of electric vehicles qualifying for a new federal tax credit was announced in April. Key to eligibility is the source of critical minerals used in their batteries. While the list of acceptable nations of origin is still being worked out, there's an important practical question the IRS should ask: Do carmakers really know where their critical minerals come from?

    Apr 28, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Characterizing the Uncrewed Systems Industrial Base

    The Department of Defense has hypothesized that future demand for uncrewed systems (UxS) will strain the capacity of the defense industrial base (DIB). This report contains an analysis of UxS demand and recommendations on strengthening the DIB.

    Apr 26, 2023

  • Nickel-rich drill cores in Tamarack, Minnesota, November 22, 2021, photo by Mike Hughlett/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/ABACA via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Militaries, Metals, and Mining

    Securing access to supply, increasing global and domestic capacity, and diversifying supply chains for critical minerals should be at the top of the agenda for both nations and private industry. Failure could jeopardize climate mitigation strategies and U.S. military readiness.

    Apr 18, 2023

  • A vessel of the Russian Navy is seen through a flock of birds in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, February 16, 2022, photo by Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Blockading Rather Than Retaking Crimea Might Be Kyiv's Best Option

    Ukraine may lack the military capability to retake Crimea from Russia. But Kyiv might still achieve some of its key objectives by blockading the peninsula. New technology may ease this task.

    Apr 10, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Russia's Asymmetric Response to 21st Century Strategic Competition: Robotization of the Armed Forces

    The authors explore Russian views on the military applications of robotics and artificial intelligence and how they differ from the United States' views on the matter. They assess whether Moscow has delivered -- or can deliver -- its robotization vision.

    Mar 13, 2023

  • An F/A-18E Super Hornet flies near the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean Sea, January 22, 2022, photo by U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    How Big of a Fleet? A Look at the U.S. Navy's Size and Readiness Needs

    Congress is trying to nudge the Navy to expand the size of the fleet. But without comparable levels of funding for personnel, maintenance, technology upgrades, logistics and other support functions, a larger fleet could come at the cost of readiness.

    Jan 11, 2023

  • U.S. Navy vessels participate in an exercise with uncrewed surface vessels off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, October 12, 2022, photo by Warren Duffie/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    Could Taiwan Defend with Uncrewed Surface Vessels?

    Ukraine has demonstrated the ability of explosive uncrewed surface vessels to target ships. These weapons could play a role in preventing Chinese forces from successfully invading Taiwan in potential future scenarios.

    Jan 9, 2023

  • A soldier's hands on a battery, photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah M. McClanahan/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Critical Material Supply Chains Should Be More Resilient

    The COVID-19 pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine highlight the vulnerabilities of supply chains that are dependent on foreign inputs. How can the U.S. Department of Defense increase the resilience of its supply chains for materials essential to national security?

    Dec 15, 2022

  • Senior Airman Allyssa Helma prepares to marshal an F-15C Eagle onto the flightline for Red Flag-Alaska at Kadena Air Base, Japan, April 15, 2022, photo by Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac/U.S. Air Force

    Commentary

    As F-15s Leave Okinawa, an Opportunity to Change Indo-Pacific Air Tactics with Unmanned Options

    As it considers its future force mix and posture in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere, the U.S. Air Force has options that go beyond traditional platforms. Among them are rapidly maturing concepts for generating and sustaining high-tempo operations in forward areas with autonomous, runway-independent air vehicles.

    Nov 28, 2022

  • A Seahawk medium displacement unmanned surface vessel participates in U.S. Pacific Fleet's Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem in the Pacific Ocean, April 21, 2021, photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe/U.S. Navy

    Commentary

    The Age of Uncrewed Surface Vessels

    A new age of naval warfare has been inaugurated in the Black Sea, defined by an emerging weapon. Uncrewed surface vessels could become a centerpiece of naval warfare in the coming decades, one that navies may ignore at their peril.

    Nov 15, 2022

  • A helicopter drops water to extinguish fuel tanks ablaze on the Kerch bridge in the Kerch Strait, Crimea, October 8, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Beware the Explosive Vessels

    The initial explosion that damaged the Kerch Strait Bridge may have come from an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV). If it was indeed caused by a USV, it could be a portent of future warfare. Military and homeland security authorities may need to anticipate the potential use of USVs by adversaries or terrorists.

    Oct 20, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Supporting the Royal Australian Navy's Campaign Plan for Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Enhancing Innovation

    The authors describe approaches the Royal Australian Navy might consider for enabling innovation with, and rapid acquisition of, robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence (RAS-AI) in the near and medium terms.

    Aug 19, 2022

  • A naval mine is detonated by a mine-disposal team, sending up a tremendous plume of water

    Journal Article

    Emerging Trends in Naval Mining Capabilities

    Although mines using decades-old technology remain menacing, several broad technological trends are likely to enhance the threat from naval mines in the next few decades.

    Aug 5, 2022

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