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.

  • A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier delivers mail in the rain on Manhattan's Upper West Side during the outbreak of COVID-19 in New York City, New York, April 13, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Report

    The Postal Service and the Pandemic

    Jun 22, 2020

    How do Americans feel about the Postal Service during the COVID-19 crisis? How do they think USPS compares with private courier companies? Are they concerned about handling mail and packages? New survey data sheds light on these questions and more.

  • A map of the continental United States is shown with lines representing COVID-19 importation risk

    Project

    Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 with Air Travel Data

    Jun 5, 2020

    As the pandemic enters a new phase, punctuated by emerging hot spots and continuing global spread, a new RAND tool lets policymakers predict regional risks of importing cases of COVID-19.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • An aerial view of the San Francisco Bay delta, photo by Andrei / Adobe Stock

    Report

    Decision Support Tool for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Levees Investment Strategy

    The Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta faces complex and varied flood risks. Possible investments to mitigate these risks are numerous, and they will affect Delta risks differently. The decision support tool aided the Delta Stewardship Council in developing a Delta Levees Investment Strategy.

    Mar 7, 2019

  • A stretch of Hadrian's Wall at Walton's Crags in Northumberland, England, photo by Gannet77/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Hadrian's Wall Was a Policy Statement; So Is Donald Trump's

    It's not clear if Hadrian's Wall was necessary to prevent Scottish fighters from invading the Roman Empire. Neither is it clear how effective Trump's wall would be at repelling undocumented immigration and smugglers. Hadrian's Wall may have been of symbolic value to those on both sides of it. Trump's could be, too.

    Mar 6, 2019

  • Report

    Evaluation of Technology-Enabled Collaborative Learning and Capacity Building Models: Materials for a Report to Congress

    This report examines the quality of evidence for the effectiveness of health care models that connect generalist providers with specialist teams via technology to provide additional training.

    Mar 6, 2019

  • Cyborg head using artificial intelligence to create digital interface 3D rendering, image by sdecoret/Adobe Stock

    Q&A

    The Promise and Perils of AI: Q&A with Douglas Yeung

    Douglas Yeung, a social psychologist at RAND, discusses how any technology reflects the values, norms, and biases of its creators. Bias in artificial intelligence could have unintended consequences. He also warns that cyber attackers could deliberately introduce bias into AI systems.

    Feb 27, 2019

  • A Russian nuclear icebreaker cuts a path through the Arctic photo by SeppFriedhuber/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Not to Compete in the Arctic

    The Arctic defies simplistic views of geopolitical friends and foes. The United States and its allies do not necessarily agree on key issues, while U.S. strategic competitors might find common ground with America. The United States could fine-tune its defense policy tools in the Arctic to ensure that its actions do not hamper relations with allies and shore up the position of adversaries.

    Feb 27, 2019

  • Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

    Essay

    Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

    With climate change already generating storms, heat waves, and droughts beyond historical norms, local governments need to do more to prepare. A decisionmaking framework developed by RAND allows communities to stress-test ideas, weigh the trade-offs, and plan for a range of possible futures.

    Feb 26, 2019

  • Journal Article

    LGA Cyber Security Stocktake: National-Level Report

    A cybersecurity stocktake of all 353 councils in England examined IT security, leadership, governance, partnerships, technology arrangements and training, offering recommendations on areas for improvement.

    Feb 22, 2019

  • Blog

    Shutdown, Hezbollah, Border Wall: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' financial fragility, Hezbollah in Venezuela, assessing the effectiveness of a border wall, and more.

    Feb 15, 2019

  • Donald Trump holds up a photo of a border wall design in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 11, 2019, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    Terrorists on the Border and Government Secrecy

    Detailed information on how many would-be terrorists may have sought to cross the southern border is being withheld on the grounds that it is sensitive. The refusal of officials to offer a fuller explanation of the numbers illustrates how the continued expansion of secrecy in government is damaging the ability of the public to assess the risk and evaluate the response.

    Feb 13, 2019

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials detain migrants from Central America in San Diego County, California, January 16, 2019, photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Wall Is Not the Only Answer

    The president and Congress have just days to negotiate an agreement over border security, or the government may shut down once again. Until a bipartisan effort is made to reform U.S. immigration laws, policy options to address the incentives that cause people to risk their lives to come to the border to claim asylum will continue to be limited.

    Feb 8, 2019

  • Blog

    State of the Union, OxyContin, Appalachia: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on insights from RAND after the State of the Union, public-health impacts of reformulating OxyContin, STEM jobs in Appalachia, and more.

    Feb 8, 2019

  • Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listen as President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address in Washington, February 5, 2019

    Blog

    State of the Union: Insights from RAND

    To shed light on a wide range of topics that figured in President Trump's second State of the Union address, we've rounded up insights from some of RAND's objective and nonpartisan research, analysis, and expertise.

    Feb 6, 2019

  • A road work sign on California Highway 101 north warns, "be prepared to stop"

    Commentary

    How to Make Roads Safer for Autonomous Vehicles

    No matter how much developers test autonomous vehicles, the world will still present unforeseen circumstances for vehicles to navigate. Roadways and vehicle design could be modified to better accommodate both human error and the shortcomings of autonomous vehicle systems.

    Feb 6, 2019

  • Hawaii Air National Guardsmen evaluate network vulnerabilities during the Po’oihe 2015 Cyber Security Exercise at the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus, Honolulu, HI, June 4, 2015, photo by Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco/Hawaii Air National Guard

    Commentary

    Developing an Objective, Repeatable Scoring System for a Vulnerability Equities Process

    If governments seek to create an objective framework for decision making about whether or when to disclose software vulnerabilities, what might that look like? What questions should be included, how should they influence the outcome and how can one interpret the results?

    Feb 5, 2019

  • A U.S. Border Patrol agent at the San Ysidro port of entry from Mexico in San Diego, California, November 9, 2018

    Commentary

    Shutdown Could Provide Opening for Adversaries to Corrupt Those Protecting the U.S. Homeland

    Every day that the government shutdown continues prolongs the financial hardship for those on the front lines protecting the United States and gives cartels and transnational criminal organizations an opening to try to corrupt the DHS ranks. As negotiations continue to stall, the Trump administration and Congress should consider taking steps to guard against this vulnerability.

    Jan 22, 2019

  • Blog

    Federal Workers, Afghanistan, Sectarianism: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the critical roles of federal workers, withdrawing from Afghanistan, countering sectarianism in the Middle East, and more.

    Jan 18, 2019

  • Accountability in Cyberspace: The Problem of Attribution

    Multimedia

    How to Achieve Accountability in Cyberspace

    Identifying the responsible party behind malicious cyber incidents is necessary for holding bad actors accountable. But there are many challenges that accompany cyber attribution. Creating an independent, global organization that investigates and publicly assigns blame for major hacks could help.

    Jan 14, 2019

  • Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, during the 2018 Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, August 13, 2018

    Commentary

    Explaining the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) Critical Role in National Security

    Despite its varied roles and responsibilities, the DIA can be boiled down to just two core missions: intelligence analysis and intelligence collection. Having a better understanding of these core missions could help to properly frame the agency’s value to the intelligence, military, and policymaking communities.

    Jan 11, 2019

  • Blog

    Border Wall, Student Suspension, Syria: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what a border wall can accomplish, reducing student suspensions, confusion over the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, and more.

    Jan 11, 2019

  • After crossing from Mexico by jumping a border fence, migrants run next to a prototype of the border wall in Otay County, California, December 21, 2018

    Commentary

    What Border Walls Can and Cannot Accomplish

    States have been building walls since ancient times. Some were arguably quite successful, others less so. At the core of prudent policy lies a basic question: What can walls realistically accomplish?

    Jan 8, 2019