This issue highlights RAND research on the significant toll that poor sleep takes on society; ways to maximize benefits of investments in electricity infrastructure; social determinants of health; and RAND's new office in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Autonomous vehicles hold enormous promise for transportation safety. But feasible, sound methods of testing need to be developed. In the meantime, policymakers should work to foster the development of self-driving vehicles while lowering their risks.
Americans drive three trillion miles a year, causing one death every 100 million miles. To prove that autonomous vehicles are safer than humans, they would have to be test-driven astronomical distances. Regulators should pursue other ways of reducing uncertainty about AV safety.
More than 90 percent of car crashes are caused by human errors. Will self-driving vehicles help mitigate this risk? To answer this question, experts must address how safety is measured and determine the threshold of safety required before autonomous vehicles are on the roads.
Policymakers generally agree on the need to rebuild America's infrastructure. But the country is far behind in this area. Why? Transportation projects take time and money. And it's hard to predict how a project will affect its surroundings.
The Arctic is more accessible than it once was, but it's still a formidable place to travel. An emergency involving a cruise ship or a downed plane could stress the search-and-rescue system. But modest investments and planning measures can make a big difference.
The federal government should work with private firms to develop drone traffic management systems and test drone designs. This could help stimulate the development of drone aviation. It could also help modernize the air traffic control system.
To help Hill staffers make the most of the Congressional recess, RAND has developed a list of must-read research and commentaries that will help ensure policymakers will return ready to hit the ground running.
The first reported fatality in a self-driving vehicle is a chilling reminder that the evolving relationship with increasingly robotic motor vehicles needs to be a partnership, an undertaking with humans and machines managing the risks.