Science, Technology, and Policy

JIE's Science, Technology and Policy Program focuses primarily on the role of scientific development and technological innovation in human behavior, global and regional decisionmaking as it relates to science and technology, and the concurrent impacts on policy analysis and policy choices. The program covers topics including space exploration, information and telecommunication technologies, nano- and biotechnologies, and other aspects of science and technology policy. Program research is supported by government agencies, foundations, and the private sector.

  • Why It's Nearly Impossible to Prove Self-Driving Cars' Safety Without a New Approach

    May 12, 2016

    There are arguments to be made for permitting driverless cars in some capacity even if they are not quite as safe as human drivers, because doing so may enable developers to improve them faster, and thus save more lives overall.

  • Test-Driving Alone Cannot Demonstrate the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles

    Apr 12, 2016

    In order to advance autonomous vehicles into daily use, alternative testing methods must be developed to supplement on-the-road testing. Alternative methods might include accelerated testing, virtual testing and simulators, mathematical modeling, scenario testing, and pilot studies.

  • The Police Could Be Controlling Your Self-Driving Car

    Apr 4, 2016

    As self-driving cars become widespread, one of the biggest issues will be the rules under which public infrastructures and public safety officers may be empowered to override how autonomous vehicles are controlled.

  • The Democratization of Space

    Mar 28, 2016

    A new economic model for outer space must account for lower barriers to entry and the involvement of more and more stakeholders, such as developing countries and start-ups.

  • How the 'Wonks' of Public Policy and the 'Geeks' of Tech Can Get Together

    Mar 18, 2016

    Conventional wisdom says that technology innovates and disrupts, while public policy regulates and controls. What might a better integration of the commercial tech sector with the policy community look like?

  • Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Feb 8, 2016

    Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

  • Has California's Ban on Hand-held Cell Phone Use Decreased Traffic Accidents?

    Jul 23, 2014

    In an effort to deter distracted driving and traffic accidents, California enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving. A study examines the issue, the success of the initiative — and what it means for the future.

  • A Vision for Qatar's School Transportation System

    Feb 21, 2012

    Considering the challenges associated with continued growth and demographic changes, the government of Qatar is interested in updating its school transportation system (STS). This volume assesses the perspectives of parents and school administrators, identifies a vision for the STS, and discusses strategies to achieve it.

  • Extending Copenhagen's Traffic Model May Help Reduce Congestion

    Feb 9, 2012

    RAND Europe is expanding the original traffic model it developed for Copenhagen to include time-of-day choice for car drivers. Doing so will allow city planners to assess the effectiveness of different charging policies aimed at reducing congestion levels.

  • How Will Migration Impact UK Transport and Congestion?

    Jan 10, 2012

    The UK Migration Advisory Committee asked RAND Europe to examine how migration is likely to impact transport networks and congestion. The resulting research is one of the first studies using UK data to provide an empirical evidence base about migrants' travel behavior and impacts.

  • Is the United States Losing Its Edge in Science and Technology?

    Jan 6, 2012

    On May 14, 2009, Titus Galama discussed the reality of U.S. competitiveness in science and technology and whether gains by China, India, and other nations are affecting America's chances of remaining a scientific leader.

  • The Characteristics of Cyberspace Pose Challenges to Those Who Seek to Defend It

    Dec 22, 2011

    It has become clear that Stuxnet-like worms pose a serious threat even to critical U.S. infrastructure and computer systems that are not connected to the Internet. However, defending against such attacks involves complex technological and legal issues.