The recent spectacle of a hulking container ship wedged into the Suez Canal is a reminder of how vulnerable maritime transportation is to blocked chokepoints. The fragility of maritime lifelines may encourage the use of this tactic in future conflict.
It's been clear for years that the gas tax has been losing its ability to pay for America's existing roads and bridges, let alone improvements and new construction. A vehicle miles traveled fee could provide a potential option for a 21st-century transportation funding system.
An operational design domain (ODD) is a description of the conditions in which an autonomous vehicle is designed to operate safely. No nationwide ODD policy exists, but because ODD is partly about the characteristics of a specific location, state and local policies could be useful.
While autonomous weapons systems are still in their early development stages, it is worth the time of policymakers to carefully consider whether their putative operational advantages are worth the potential risks of instability and escalation they may raise.
More widespread availability of rideshare for non-emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them, and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.
If necessity is the mother of invention, the new coronavirus is quickly birthing a lot of innovations. Parts of U.S. society may be forever changed by this pandemic. The national emergency will eventually end, but the longer it lasts, the less likely that the pre-pandemic business-as-usual ways will return.
COVID-19 could have lasting effects on future travel patterns. Future scenarios, a method for visualizing different possible futures, can help inform decisions in deeply uncertain situations and can be used to think about policies that are important for people's quality of life regardless of how the future unfolds.
China's true motivations for its Belt and Road Initiative may still be unclear. But the West could consider the initiative's potential to deliver sustained economic, social, and environmental benefits for all, and find ways to support infrastructure improvements in the countries involved.