Anticipating the Onset of Autonomy: A Survey of the DoD, Armed Service, and other Federal Agencies' Outlook on Autonomy

June 2015
Topics: Aviation and Aeronautics, Computing Methodologies, Government Agency Operations, Military Programs
Dr. Robert J. Grabowski, The MITRE Corporation
Jessica Rajkowski, The MITRE Corporation
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Autonomy has become a recent focus of attention in each of the military services, the broader Department of Defense community, and many Federal agencies. Even though a clear understanding and definition of autonomy remains elusive, stakeholders are making plans and setting expectations in their roadmaps, strategic plans and research objectives. This summary investigates two emerging perspectives on autonomy; the anticipation of new capabilities and the trepidations of allowing new technologies to make their own decisions. These views collectively express the breadth of stakeholder’s views towards the onset of autonomy, what they believe it means, what they think it will offer, and some of the accompanying concerns over adopting this unproven but potentially game-changing capability. The views have been compiled from statements and comments in critical documents and roadmaps published by the DoD, Services, and Federal agencies.

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