Passenger Traffic

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  • 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.

  • Illustration of smart transportation, people and vehicles moving in city streets using sensors, photo by elenabsl/Adobe Stock

    Report

    When Can Automated Vehicles Be Considered Safe Enough?

    Oct 29, 2020

    Establishing whether automated vehicles are acceptably safe is not straightforward, and continual technology development adds complication. Agreeing on the approaches to assess AV safety and improving communication about safety are important for building and sustaining public trust.

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  • News Release

    News Release

    No Silver Bullet for Determining Safety of Automated Vehicles; Public Trust in AV Technology Rides on Multiple ...

    No single method is sufficient to determine whether an automated vehicle is safe enough for the road, and ultimately consumers are most likely to trust the government about AV safety.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • A rideshare driver wears gloves and a mask while driving following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Commentary

    Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in the Time of COVID-19

    More widespread availability of rideshare for non-emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them, and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.

    May 5, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    A new travel demand model for London: Estimation of the mode and destination choice models

    RAND Europe and partners were commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) to develop a new strategic travel model for London, the New Demand Model (NDM). This report documents RAND Europe's work to develop new mode-destination choice models.

    Jun 19, 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

  • Car driving autonomously with LIDAR sensor

    Commentary

    The New AV Challenge: Creating a Universal Safety Framework

    Autonomous vehicle developers are pursuing different safety strategies and technologies, making different claims, in different ways, about their systems. A universal framework could provide a more consistent and transparent view of progress in AV safety within and across the industry, better informing the public and policymakers.

    Nov 2, 2018

  • An autonomous car scans the road and stops at a crosswalk

    Report

    How AV Safety Can Be Defined, Tested, and Measured

    The race to introduce automated vehicles to consumers and communities is based on the promise that they will be safer than conventional vehicles. A new framework for measuring AV safety provides the public, automotive industry, and policymakers with clearer ways to discuss AV technology issues.

    Oct 10, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    Bus fare and journey time elasticities and diversion factors for all modes: A rapid evidence assessment

    In this review a substantial database of diversion-factor evidence was collated. Little recent evidence on bus fare and generalised journey time elasticities was identified. Recommendations are provided, based on analysis of the available evidence.

    Jul 9, 2018

  • Depiction of self-driving cars in road lanes

    Multimedia

    Safety in a World of Driverless Cars

    In this Call with the Experts, senior information scientist Nidhi Kalra discusses a RAND study that shows putting driverless cars on the road before they're nearly perfect could save lives, and also describes new approaches for safety standards.

    Feb 15, 2018

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy

    Article

    Why Waiting for Perfect Autonomous Vehicles May Cost Lives

    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.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • A still image from the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer tool showing a line and bar chart, comparing future scenarios with autonomous vehicles against a future without AVs.

    Tool

    Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer

    How safe should autonomous vehicles be before they are allowed on the road for consumer use? To help explore answers to that question, the Safety Scenario Explorer compares future scenarios and estimates the resulting fatalities against a future without autonomous vehicles.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • A self-driving Uber drives in Pittsburgh during a media preview

    Report

    Deploying Autonomous Vehicles Before They're Perfect Will Save More Lives

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States. This approach could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • A self-driving car (L) being developed by nuTonomy, a company creating software for autonomous vehicles, is guided down a street near their offices in Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 2017

    Report

    Model of Automated Vehicle Safety (MAVS)

    The safety of autonomous vehicles is a principal concern for the transportation industry, policymakers, and the public. Comparing the impact on road fatalities under many different scenarios can help understand the circumstances in which autonomous vehicles can provide the greatest safety benefit.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Multimedia

    How Safe Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Before They're Introduced to Market?

    RAND researchers Nidhi Kalra and David G. Groves developed a model to compare 500 different scenarios of autonomous vehicle introduction, adoption, and improvement. The research shows that putting autonomous vehicles on the road sooner, allowing them to improve quicker, could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    Introducing Autonomous Vehicles Sooner Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives Over Time

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States, an approach that could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD stops for a simulated pedestrian crossing at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California, June 1, 2016

    Report

    How Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Regulated?

    Autonomous vehicles could greatly reduce the risk of crashes. But the safety benefits are not yet proven and may not be known until AVs are widespread. What kind of regulatory approach could help balance innovation, risk, and uncertainty?

    Sep 18, 2017

  • A Tesla Model S with version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features is seen during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California, October 14, 2015

    Commentary

    Tesla Fatal Crash Reminds That Human Interface Remains Important

    The first reported fatality in a self-driving vehicle is a chilling reminder that the evolving relationship with increasingly robotic motor vehicles needs to be a partnership, an undertaking with humans and machines managing the risks.

    Jul 30, 2016

  • The interior of a Tesla Model S is shown in autopilot mode in San Francisco, California, April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Fatal Crash Shouldn't Kill Self-Driving Cars

    The first known fatality in an autonomous vehicle occurred on May 7 and raises important questions. It does not, however, mean that self-driving cars are less safe than human drivers or that development of the technology should be stopped.

    Jul 16, 2016

  • Advertisement from 1957 for "America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies" showing an autonomous car

    Report

    Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers

    Autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to significantly improve social welfare. This report addresses the numerous legislative, regulatory, and liability issues this technology will raise.

    Mar 22, 2016

  • A line of Lexus SUVs equipped with Google self-driving sensors awaits test riders in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    Commentary

    With Driverless Cars, How Safe Is Safe Enough?

    Before driverless cars can be deployed, a fundamental question remains: How safe is safe enough? Waiting for autonomous vehicles to operate perfectly misses opportunities to save lives by keeping far-from-perfect human drivers behind the wheel.

    Feb 1, 2016