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.

  • Engineer Anu Narayanan at the RAND office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 21, 2020, photo by Jim Mendenhall/Pro Photography Network

    Q&A

    Thinking Outside the Grid: Q&A with Anu Narayanan

    Mar 5, 2020

    Anu Narayanan, an engineer at RAND, is a specialist in what-ifs. Her research focuses on critical infrastructure and national security. In this interview, she discusses her latest work that explores what would happen if a cyberattacker tried to take down the power grid.

  • Scientist taking water samples, photo by Smederevac/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Want to Know If a New Drug Crisis Is Growing? Check the Wastewater

    Mar 26, 2020

    Few people foresaw how quickly fentanyl would displace heroin, doubling or tripling opioid overdose deaths in some pockets of the United States from 2013 to 2017. But we could have been warned—if only we'd checked our wastewater.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • 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

  • Blog

    Christchurch, Brexit, China and Israel: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Christchurch shootings, how the UK can improve its post-Brexit prospects, China and Israel's evolving relationship, and more.

    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

  • A man visits the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium, March 5, 2019, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Public Evidence of Huawei as a Cyber Threat May Be Elusive, but Restrictions Could Still Be Warranted

    Although a “smoking gun” of Huawei involvement in government-directed espionage remains elusive, the United States has compelling security and economic reasons to consider limiting the involvement of Chinese telecommunications companies in its domestic networks.

    Mar 7, 2019

  • A screen capture from the Decision Support Tool for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Levee Investment Strategy

    Tool

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

    The Delta Stewardship Council commissioned the development of a risk modeling framework and decision support tool (DST) to aid in the formulation of a Delta Levees Investment Strategy.

    Mar 7, 2019

  • 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