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

  • 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

  • Fred Pardee attending a Pardee RAND Graduate School Board of Governors meeting on March 28, 2014

    Content

    Fred Pardee: Making a Difference

    Fred Pardee grew up in the shadow of World War II and has spent his life supporting the cause of human dignity and development around the world. He has given more than $22 million over his lifetime to RAND and the Pardee RAND Graduate School to support research on some of the world's most pressing problems.

    Jan 18, 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

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2019

    This issue spotlights (1) research on how faith-based organizations promote health and well-being in underserved communities and (2) the Pardee RAND Graduate School's new approach to policy and training the next generation of policy experts.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Sailors and civilian personnel remotely pilot an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) from ashore several miles away, photo by Ken Rose/U.S. Navy

    Report

    Advancing Autonomous Systems: An Analysis of Current and Future Technology for Unmanned Maritime Vehicles

    In this report, RAND researchers explore current and potential military applications of autonomous systems, focusing especially on unmanned undersea vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles.

    Jan 4, 2019

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018

    Commentary

    Data Breaches Could Cause Users to Opt Out of Sharing Personal Data. Then What?

    As tech-based systems have become all but indispensable, many institutions might assume user data will be reliable, meaningful and, most of all, plentiful. But what if this data became unreliable, meaningless, or even scarce?

    Dec 28, 2018

  • Blog

    Terrorists, Policing, Cyberattacks: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on terrorism recruitment trends, helping police find the right strategies, who should investigate cyberattacks, and more.

    Dec 21, 2018

  • A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and financed by Chinese government arrives at the Nairobi Terminus on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, May 31, 2017

    Commentary

    The Good and Bad of the Trump Administration's New Africa Strategy

    The Trump administration's Africa strategy combines a turn away from counterterrorism as a priority, emphasis on trade, and working to help Africans solve their own problems, all of which could be opportunities for a more positive relationship. The implied prioritization of great power competition, however, suggests the real risk of a return to Cold War-era approach.

    Dec 20, 2018