Transportation Research News profiles Rubin

Transportation Research News profiled Jonathan Rubin, a professor of economics and the director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. Rubin studies the economics of transportation energy and greenhouse gas emissions. His recent research has focused on cellulosic biofuels, specifically low-carbon biofuels derived from woody biomass, and how to make them more economical by producing biochemical coproducts at the same time, the article states. Rubin has also studied the environmental impacts of autonomous vehicles, and the social implications of these impacts, which can influence people’s opinions of their time spent in vehicles. “It is important to design robust policies that can allow the market development of autonomous vehicles to take advantage of the vehicles’ private benefits and to establish incentives for beneficial environmental and social outcomes,” Rubin told TR News. Rubin also serves as chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Environment and Energy Section, and has been involved in numerous other committees and project panels related to transportation. “No single technological fix will both reduce transportation’s environmental footprint and maintain an acceptable mobility of goods and people. This means that we need to be open to learning from and working with a wide range of disciplines and viewpoints,” said Rubin.