The remainder of this report is structured as follows. Chapter 2 presents the study's evaluation of DOT's vulnerability assessment for surface transportation and recommends some ways to improve on it in future assessments. The recommendations give particular attention to the important and underrecognized question of strategic vulnerabilities, that is, vulnerabilities of the surface transportation infrastructure as a whole as distinct from vulnerabilities of individual infrastructure elements. Chapter 3 discusses a systematic approach to establishing an R&D strategy. It focuses on the process of planning a program (defining, selecting, and evaluating potential R&D projects) rather than on the details of specific projects. Because threats to the surface transportation infrastructure are constantly evolving, careful attention to this planning process will be vital for keeping the program on target. Finally, Chapter 4 attempts a preliminary application of the methodology recommended in Chapter 3, and in doing so, presents some examples of the kinds of R&D projects that might be considered.
Note that this study has intentionally not divided up its subject according to the various modes of transportation. Although most transportation-related R&D is funded and organized according to mode, there is so much synergy and overlap among the security concerns of the different modes that such a division in this report would be artificial and even deleterious. An important conclusion of the study is the need for close coordination and cooperation, not only within DOT, but also with other agencies. Emphasizing the differences between the transportation modes would make that coordination more difficult.