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 view of a highway junction at night, photo by DKart/Getty Images

    Essay

    How to End U.S. Roadway Deaths by 2050

    Jun 24, 2019

    Tens of thousands of people die on American roads every year. Bringing that number down to zero by 2050 is possible. We would have to change how we think about road safety, stop accepting car crashes as accidents, and make smart investments in technology.

  • Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

    Essay

    Resilience and Adaptation Strategies Can Address the Impacts of Climate Change

    Feb 26, 2019

    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.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • An illustration of chain links represented in binary code, photo by denisismagilov / Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Content Analysis of Cyber Insurance Policies: How Do Carriers Price Cyber Risk?

    Thousands of data breaches occur each year with some costing millions of dollars. Consequently, cyber insurance has grown rapidly in the past decade. In this research, we conduct the first rigorous qualitative study of actual insurance policies.

    Apr 30, 2019

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, April 5, 2019, photo by Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Mueller Report May Result in Russian Sanctions but Not Better Behavior

    The Mueller report could help mobilize political pressure in the United States for a stronger posture toward Russian activities that harm American and allied interests. But the Kremlin will likely still see propaganda, disinformation, and subterfuge as useful tools to undermine America's values and cohesion.

    Apr 26, 2019

  • News Release

    Human Smuggling Via Central America Generates Hundreds of Millions of Dollars, but Transnational Criminal Groups May ...

    The smuggling of unlawful migrants from the Northern Triangle region of Central America—Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador—to the United States generated between $200 million and $2.3 billion for human smugglers in 2017. The wide range reflects uncertainty about the number of migrants that travel northward, their use of smugglers and the fees they pay.

    Apr 22, 2019

  • Central America on a globe, photo by Bobtokyoharris/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Human Smuggling Operations from Central America to the United States

    Smuggling unlawful migrants from Central America to the United States generated between $200 million and $2.3 billion for human smugglers in 2017. The wide range reflects uncertainty about the number of migrants, their use of smugglers, and the fees they pay. Transnational criminal organizations are only one type of actor involved.

    Apr 21, 2019

  • Report

    Human Smuggling and Associated Revenues: What Do or Can We Know About Routes from Central America to the United States?

    The authors examine the structure, operations, and financing of actors that engage in human smuggling along routes from Central America to the United States and develop a preliminary estimate of revenues associated with human smuggling.

    Apr 21, 2019

  • Three tiny satellites photographed by an Expedition 33 crew member on the International Space Station, October 4, 2012, photo by NASA

    Commentary

    Space Safety Coordination: A Norm for All Nations

    As space becomes more congested with satellites, the need for every nation to actively participate in the space safety coordination system grows. Most spacefaring countries participate, but a few countries do not—notably, Russia and China. That creates greater potential for collisions and hazards from debris.

    Apr 16, 2019

  • A cache of guns and ammunition uncovered by U.S. federal investigators in the home of U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson in Silver Spring, Maryland, February 20, 2019, photo by U.S. Attorney's Office Maryland/Reuters

    Commentary

    Overdue Overhaul: Security Clearance Reform in a Decade of Leakers, Spies, and Insider Threats

    With the legislative and executive branches seemingly on the same page regarding the need for changes to the security clearance and vetting system, long overdue reform appears to be within reach.

    Apr 15, 2019

  • News Release

    Seismic Safety Upgrades May Cost California Hospitals Billions, Increase Number of Hospitals in Financial Distress

    After the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, in which 11 hospitals were damaged and eight were evacuated, California adopted SB1953, which aims to improve hospital resilience to seismic events. The law requires hospitals to reduce their buildings' risk of collapse by 2020 and to remain operational after an earthquake by 2030. California hospitals would need to make substantial investments to meet 2030 state seismic safety standards.

    Mar 28, 2019

  • Engineers are using this specially constructed five-story building to study how high-value buildings, such as hospitals and data centers, can remain operational after an earthquake, in San Diego, California, April 17, 2012, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Report

    Seismic Safety Upgrades May Cost California Hospitals Billions

    California hospitals are required by law to reduce their buildings' risk of collapse by 2020 and to remain operational after an earthquake by 2030. Hospitals have to pay for the upgrades, which could cost between $34 billion and $143 billion statewide. One-third of California hospitals are already in some form of financial distress.

    Mar 28, 2019

  • Mock Bitcoins are displayed in Berlin, January 7, 2014, photo by Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

    Report

    Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies

    Counterterrorism finance strategies have reduced terrorist access to official currencies. Will terrorist groups therefore increase their use of digital cryptocurrencies? New ones have emerged, including some that claim to be more private and secure than Bitcoin, but they also have limitations that make them less viable.

    Mar 27, 2019

  • Five glasses of water, with dirty water in the center, photo by hdere/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Ensure Quality Drinking Water Service for All? One Option Is Fewer Utilities.

    California's Human Right to Water Bill declares that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” One clear barrier to reaching this target is the sheer number of small water utilities that pose service sustainability and public health risks to their customers.

    Mar 26, 2019

  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. A single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

    Mar 22, 2019

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands ahead of their talks at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, March 21, 2017, photo by Etienne Oliveau/Reuters/Pool

    Report

    How Has the Israel-China Relationship Evolved?

    Since the early 2000s, relations between China and Israel have expanded in areas like diplomacy, trade, investment, construction, educational partnerships, scientific cooperation, and tourism. What challenges does the relationship pose for Israel and the United States?

    Mar 21, 2019

  • Interior of autonomous car with ones and zeroes superimposed, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Why AV Safety and Cybersecurity Need to Be Pursued in Tandem

    Safety and cybersecurity are generally pursued by separate teams within autonomous vehicle companies. A joint approach to standards could optimize safety and cybersecurity and reduce overall risks to autonomous vehicle operation.

    Mar 20, 2019

  • Christine Wormuth and Kimberly Kagan at the 2018 Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security

    Report

    Roberta Wohlstetter Forum on National Security

    In October 2018, RAND hosted a forum on national security that honored the legacy of Roberta Wohlstetter, a military analyst who worked at RAND from its creation in 1948 until 1965. Panelists discussed events, capabilities, technologies, and methodologies that demand new concepts for national security and defense.

    Mar 19, 2019

  • Tool

    Database of Literature on Disaster Surveys

    The Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities presents an overview of a literature review on the impacts of natural and man-made disasters in the United States and a corresponding database with the results from that review.

    Mar 18, 2019

  • An F-16 fighter jet lands at a U.S. Air Force base in Osan, South Korea, April 3, 2013, photo by Lee Jae Won/Reuters

    Commentary

    'Cost Plus 50' Explained

    The Trump administration may be considering requiring host nations to subsidize the entire cost of the U.S. military presence and pay an additional 50 percent of that amount. This type of transactional foreign policy increases the risk that countries will rethink their agreements to host U.S. forces, and that could reduce the U.S. military's ability to operate globally.

    Mar 15, 2019

  • Report

    Countering China's Efforts to Isolate Taiwan Diplomatically in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Role of Development Assistance and Disaster Relief

    Taiwan provides development assistance and disaster relief programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. This report considers how Taiwan can optimize its help to this region to ensure that it gets the maximum diplomatic value for its generosity.

    Mar 13, 2019

  • Oil barrel leaking oil grass, photo by RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Increasing Groundwater Reliance in L.A. County Means Dealing with Extensive Contamination

    As the Los Angeles region increases its reliance on groundwater sources to become more resilient in the face of drought and to reduce demand for imported water sources, advances in the information available on groundwater quality and contamination could help community water systems avoid health hazards and better ensure a safe drinking water supply.

    Mar 12, 2019

  • Patient consulting with his doctor via videochat over his laptop, photo by Henfaes/Getty Images

    Report

    Experiences of Medicaid Programs and Health Centers in Implementing Telehealth

    Safety-net providers underuse telehealth due to a range of policy, organizational, and logistical barriers. Examining the use of telehealth by federal programs in seven states, researchers identified common themes and considerations for policymakers.

    Mar 8, 2019