Infrastructure and Transportation

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RAND research addresses the challenges of developing, managing, and protecting energy, transportation, water, communications, and other critical infrastructure throughout the world.

  • Aerial photo of highway

    Blog

    Consider Taxing Miles Traveled

    Apr 18, 2013

    Mileage-fee rates could be structured to reduce congestion, harmful emissions and excessive road wear, and the enabling technology could support a range of value-added services offering greater convenience and safety for motorists, writes Keith Crane.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • Advertisement from 1957 for "America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies" showing an autonomous car

    Event

    The Next Revolution: Automated Vehicles and their Benefits, Challenges and Policy Implications

    As the railways transformed the way people travelled in the 19th century and the internal combustion engine in the 20th, automated vehicles have the potential to revolutionise travel on our roadways in the 21st century. RAND's Johanna Zmud will discuss her research on self-driving cars at a London Transport Museum event.

    Oct 2, 2014

  • Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev and President Putin attend a meeting with members of the Russian Parliament in Yalta, Crimea, August 14, 2014

    Blog

    Crimean Adventure Will Cost Russia Dearly

    Moscow may have overreached, as it appears ill-prepared to come up with the necessary funds to cover Crimea-related costs. Infrastructure improvements, development aid, government operations, and other costs will be a multi-billion drain — as much as $4.5 billion per year — on Russia's already strained budget.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol building with summer flowers

    Blog

    Summer Reading for Congress

    No matter how policymakers spend their break—meeting with home-state constituents, traveling abroad with congressional delegations, or spending time with family—this summer reading list contains policy ideas that can help them hit the ground running when they return.

    Jul 31, 2014

  • COMAC ARJ21 Chinese commercial passenger jet

    Testimony

    China’s Industrial Policies in Commercial Aviation Manufacturing

    Until recently, the Chinese aircraft manufacturing industry produced aircraft almost exclusively for its military. As China transitions to commercial aircraft production, does it need to rethink its investments and policies to become more globally integrated and competitive?

    Jul 31, 2014

  • Airline passengers wait in line before passing through a TSA checkpoint at LAX

    Blog

    TSA's Cellphone Rule Part of Deadly Race

    While placing explosives inside a cellphone is plausible, it is almost impossible to do so with iPhones without rendering them non-functional, which is why the TSA is now checking cell phones are actually working.

    Jul 29, 2014

  • News Release

    Economic Development Not the Only Influence on Personal Car Use

    Although countries with high levels of economic development generally have more personal automobile travel than less-affluent nations, income is not the only factor that determines a nation's demand for cars.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • Wreckage from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane that was downed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, July 18, 2014

    Blog

    Like Flight 370, the MH17 Crash in Ukraine Could Remain a Mystery

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was reportedly shot down yesterday near the Russia-Ukraine border. But like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in March, what happened to MH17 is shrouded in mystery.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • A pro-Russian separatist at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukraine's Donetsk region, July 17, 2014

    Blog

    3 Weapons That Threaten Commercial Planes

    It's relatively rare that commercial aircraft are targeted with weapons built primarily to attack military aircraft, but there are a range of potential threats from such weapons. Given that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was reportedly at 33,000 feet when contact was lost, it seems impossible that the attack could have occurred using a shoulder-fired missile.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • Utah Highway Patrol police car and trooper

    Blog

    License Plate Readers and Right to Privacy

    License plate reader technology can be a force multiplier for law enforcement. Its ability to identify license plates of interest to police in real-time makes it an effective tool but there is also potential for abuse. Law enforcement authorities should address credible privacy concerns.

    Jul 15, 2014

  • Stop sign in Russia

    Research Brief

    Driving in the Future in Developing Countries

    Automobility -- travel in personal vehicles -- varies between countries. This brief summarizes a study of the factors besides economic development that affect automobility and how automobility might evolve in developing countries.

    Jul 15, 2014

  • Mototransport (bicycle cars) in New Delhi, India

    Report

    Exploring the Future of Driving in Developing Countries

    The level of automobility, or travel in personal vehicles, varies among countries. By determining the factors besides economic development that have affected automobility in developed countries, researchers can predict how automobility might evolve in developing countries.

    Jul 15, 2014

  • Central Texas Roadway System map

    Project

    Examining Feasibility of Time-of-Day Tolls to Reduce Congestion

    To reduce traffic along a heavily congested Texas toll road, researchers are using stated preference surveys and discrete choice models to understand how motorists will respond to alternative time-of-day pricing policies.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • News Release

    License Plate Readers Are an Important Police Tool, but Hurdles Remain to Reach Full Potential

    Systems that automatically read automobile license plates have the potential to save police investigative time and increase safety, but law enforcement officials must address issues related to staffing, compatibility, and privacy before the technology can reach its full potential.

    Jul 2, 2014

  • Young woman texting in car

    Blog

    What if Distracted Driving Was Safe?

    According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for self-driving cars, which could be available in the near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.

    Jul 1, 2014

  • Police car equipped with mobile ANPR produced by ELSAG North America (Mobile Plate Hunter 900)

    Report

    License Plate Readers Are an Important Police Tool, but Hurdles Remain

    Systems that automatically read automobile license plates have the potential to save police investigative time and increase safety, but law enforcement officials must address issues related to staffing, compatibility, and privacy before the technology can reach its full potential.

    Jul 1, 2014

  • car interior with a dashboard computer

    Blog

    Sounding the Car Alarm on Hackers

    Security protections on vehicles have not kept pace with systems that control safety features, navigation capabilities, and wireless communication functions. Onboard computer networks will likely become much more attractive to hackers.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • Highway traffic

    Event

    A New Way to Pay for Transportation: Exploring a Shift from Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees

    Increasing fuel efficiency and the rise of alternative fuel vehicles that do not use gasoline have led to growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs — shortfalls that are likely to become even more acute in coming years. In this Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola will discuss innovations in the use of mileage-based fees.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • congressional-podcast-teaser-highres

    Multimedia

    A New Way to Pay for Transportation: Exploring a Shift from Fuel Taxes to Mileage-Based User Fees

    In this June 2014 Congressional Briefing, Liisa Ecola discusses growing shortfalls in federal and state funding for surface transportation programs, and the potential of mileage fees (rather than fuel taxes) to reduce those shortfalls while also reducing traffic congestion, harmful emissions, and excessive road wear.

    Jun 26, 2014

  • t-events-rand-podcast-hr

    Multimedia

    A Conversation with Marco Villa, Adviser to the Hyperloop Next-Generation Transportation System

    In this June 2014 Distinguished Speakers Series event, Marco Villa, adviser to the Hyperloop next-generation transportation system, joins Bill Welser, research department director of RAND's Engineering and Applied Sciences Department, for a conversation on the Hyperloop next-generation transportation system.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • Hyperloop sketch

    Event

    Distinguished Speaker Series: Marco Villa

    Marco Villa, adviser to the Hyperloop next-generation transportation system, will be the featured speaker in RAND's Distinguished Speaker Series on June 24, 2014.

    Jun 24, 2014