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.

  • Chickamauga Lock and Dam, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, photo by Mark Rankin/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Report

    Not Everything Is Broken with U.S. Transportation and Water Infrastructure

    Dec 4, 2017

    Transportation and water infrastructure funding and finance in the United States are not nearly as dire as some believe. But a national consensus on infrastructure priorities, accompanied by targeted spending and selected policy changes, is needed.

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy, photo by Brian Snyder/REUTERS

    Article

    Why Waiting for Perfect Autonomous Vehicles May Cost Lives

    Nov 6, 2017

    Some people think autonomous vehicles must be flawless before humans take their hands off the wheel. But putting AVs on the road before they're perfect improves the technology more quickly—and could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

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  • U.S. and Polish soldiers meet after a welcoming ceremony for U.S. troops deployed as part of a NATO buildup in Eastern Europe, Zagan, Poland, January 14, 2017

    Report

    How Are European Countries Vulnerable to Russia?

    Russia's aggression against Ukraine has highlighted potential threats to NATO and the EU. But European countries differ in how susceptible they are to possible Russian actions.

    Jan 18, 2017

  • A highway at night under a starry sky

    Infographic

    Don't Rely on Test-Driving Alone to Assess Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    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.

    Jan 9, 2017

  • President Barack Obama talks about cyber hacking during the U.S. presidential election as he holds his final news conference of the year at the White House in Washington, December 16, 2016

    Commentary

    How to Deter Foreign Cyberattacks on U.S. Elections

    Deterring future cyber-meddling in U.S. elections will require convincing adversaries — Russia and others — that any future such meddling will either be ineffective and/or too costly to be worthwhile.

    Jan 5, 2017

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu attend a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 29, 2016

    Commentary

    No Quick Fix with Russia

    A series of small steps is more likely to improve Western and Russian security than an attempt at a total reset. At the same time, sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, and NATO actions to reassure and protect allies, must continue.

    Jan 3, 2017

  • People protest as electors gather to cast their votes amid allegations of Russian hacking to try to influence the U.S. presidential election in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 19, 2016

    Commentary

    Were Russian Hacks Really a Threat to American Democracy?

    The Russian attacks should be another wake up call about the relentless probing of America's digital assets by adversaries and the potential consequences of weak cyber defenses. But U.S. democracy appears to have survived safe and sound.

    Dec 30, 2016

  • A sailor opens a network monitoring program during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, August 22, 2016

    Commentary

    America's Cyber Security Dilemma — and a Way Out

    The United States should continue to pursue international cooperation in cyberspace, improve its ability to identify and expose the sources of attacks, and improve its oversight of the development and adoption of cyber-related technologies.

    Dec 22, 2016

  • A Zipline delivery drone releases its payload during a demonstration near San Francisco, California, May 5, 2016

    Report

    What's the Buzz on Delivery Drones?

    Millions of commercial drones may be in the air by 2020. This could make near-instant airborne delivery a reality. But what are the hidden costs?

    Dec 20, 2016

  • A doctor and a patient holding a telehealth session involving x-ray results and a blood pressure reading

    Commentary

    Telehealth Alone Won't Increase Health Care Access for the Underserved

    Telehealth can bring care into communities that have limited access to providers or facilities. But it must be integrated into a well-functioning system that can address the added needs that telehealth generates.

    Dec 16, 2016

  • The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia

    Commentary

    How Can We Be Sure Putin Hacked the Democrats?

    Did Russia conduct an election cyber campaign against America? There is likely no smoking gun. But there is presumably a preponderance of technical evidence, intelligence, and benefits to Moscow that points in that direction.

    Dec 16, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Sample Size Implications of Multi-Day GPS-enabled Household Travel Surveys

    This digest summarizes key findings of research conducted in NCHRP Project 08-36/Task 123, "Survey Sample Size and Weighting."

    Dec 15, 2016

  • Adult

    Report

    Lessons Learned from the MAVEN Project Pilot

    The Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network (MAVEN) Project created a corps of experienced volunteer physicians to provide telehealth consults to providers in safety-net clinics. This evaluation of the program can inform quality-improvement efforts.

    Dec 9, 2016

  • Solar panels and wind generators against a city view

    Commentary

    Investing in Infrastructure? Don't Forget the Electric Grid

    Leaving the future of America's electricity grid to chance should not be an option. To maximize the potential benefits of a multibillion-dollar smart grid investment, a closer examination of technology and policy is needed.

    Dec 7, 2016

  • Miami skyline at night

    Report

    Urban Responses to Climate Change

    More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. Thus, cities lie at the epicenter of America's response to climate change. Analysis can inform how cities choose strategies and allocate resources.

    Dec 7, 2016

  • News Release

    China Invests Warily in Middle East

    China endeavors to protect its expanding interests in the Middle East by not taking sides in conflicts and controversies. The United States should encourage China to become more involved in efforts to improve regional stability while reassuring partners of its own commitment to the region.

    Dec 5, 2016

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, December 14, 2015

    Report

    China Invests Warily in the Middle East

    China endeavors to protect its expanding interests in the Middle East by not taking sides in conflicts and controversies. The United States should encourage China to get more involved in efforts to improve regional stability while reassuring partners of its own commitment to the region.

    Dec 5, 2016

  • Report

    A Framework for Exploring Cybersecurity Policy Options

    RAND conducted two discovery games to explore possible solutions for improving cybersecurity, assess their implications, and develop an initial framework to support debate and inform decisions regarding cybersecurity policies and practices.

    Nov 23, 2016

  • Aerial view of Santa Monica city and beach

    Solution

    Measuring Wellbeing to Help Communities Thrive

    The city of Santa Monica wanted to incorporate wellbeing into city planning, policies, and programs. RAND researchers, as part of a team of experts, helped create a framework for measuring wellbeing and applying the findings to city planning.

    Nov 22, 2016

  • Two U.S. Air Force pilots use night vision goggles during an exercise above Yokota Air Base, Japan, August 24, 2015

    Report

    Political Challenges to the U.S. Overseas Military Presence

    The U.S. military depends on access to overseas bases to project power around the world. Political challenges to access have been common, but the threat has often been overstated.

    Nov 21, 2016

  • Report

    Continuity and Contingency in USAF Posture Planning

    This study develops a framework for long-term U.S. Air Force (USAF) posture planning that accounts for drivers of USAF posture and identifies steps the USAF can take to increase posture robustness and agility over the 30-year planning period.

    Nov 18, 2016

  • News Release

    Twenty Percent of U.S. Households View Landline Telephones as an Important Communication Choice

    The predicted death of the household landline telephone in the United States may be premature. While most Americans like their cell phones, twenty percent of American households still think having a landline phone is important.

    Nov 17, 2016