Stuck in traffic? A simple solution to road congestion
Stop-start driving creates 'phantom intersections'. There's an easy way to do away with them – but humans must relinquish control.
When we’re stuck in traffic, it feels like everybody else is at fault. But the video below, by CGP Grey, explains how we're all in it together and equally to blame – thanks to slow human reflexes.
According to the video, we create our own traffic jams by not driving at the same distance between the car in front and behind at all times.
If one car slows down, the rest follow suit and a backlog of cars catch up to one another and create “phantom intersections” – long after the interruption was over.
The solution? Perfectly coordinated driving. But this is only possible if we remove human drivers and replace them with self-driving cars, removing the need for traffic lights and getting us to our destination faster.