Autonomous Systems

Autonomous systems—from cars to aircraft—will change the way we live and work. Self-driving cars and delivery drones, for instance, offer the possibility of fundamentally changing transportation, along with impacts on safety, mobility, congestion, energy use, and land use. Autonomous weapon systems have the potential to reshape the battle space but also present significant practical, ethical, and legal challenges.

These developments raise complex policy questions, such as managing air space for commercially-operated delivery drones and assessing the safety of self-driving cars. RAND has been at the forefront of the policy discussion on autonomous systems, providing guidance to policymakers on adapting to a new and rapidly changing landscape.

Work With Us

RAND has a long tradition of research on advanced technologies and providing policymakers with crucial guidance on developing policies for tomorrow’s world. RAND's objective, multi-disciplinary team have spearheaded the public discussion on autonomous technology, and are ready to provide guidance to help policymakers address complex questions on emerging technologies. To find out more about RAND's capabilities and expertise in autonomous systems policy, or to contact the research team, please email