Documents to download

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)


Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. This POSTnote examines current and future military applications of automation, and considers associated legal, ethical and societal issues.


  • Military systems have an increasing range of automated functions but there are no fully autonomous systems in use.
  • Each of the main military domains – air, land and sea – make use of automation.
  • Technological challenges include on board data processing capabilities, data transfer, and power.
  • Deployment of armed remotely piloted vehicles has raised various issues including the need for transparency about how they are used by governments.
  • There is debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems, which could select and attack targets without human intervention

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Smart Cities

    "Smart cities" describes places that incorporate a range of technologies (especially those that collect and use data) to address economic, social, and environmental challenges. Projects usually take place in urban areas, but are also deployed in rural settings. This POSTnote looks at smart city innovation in the UK and the technologies involved. It considers the factors driving the adoption of smart city technologies, and the potential benefits, barriers and risks associated with their implementation.

    Smart Cities
  • Energy sector digitalisation

    The incorporation of digital technologies in the energy sector can support progress towards key UK objectives such as achieving Net Zero emissions targets. It can also transform current methods of energy generation, transmission, regulation, and trading. This POSTnote presents an overview of key digital technologies and their main applications in the energy sector. It provides an overview of the potential benefits to using these technologies, and recent developments in this area. It describes the role of data in underpinning digital technologies in the sector, and some of the issues raised by its use. It also discusses broader challenges associated with energy sector digitalisation and measures that could help address them, including issues related to technology, regulation, and impact on consumers.

    Energy sector digitalisation