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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @07:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the automate-that-already dept.

Gotta keep 'em separated:

When unexplained traffic jams happen, says an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) study, you can probably blame tailgaters. The researchers say that if drivers kept an even distance between cars rather than driving too close to the vehicle in front, traffic flow would remain even. This "bilateral control," could double the speed of the average vehicle on busy highways.
This ideal is very different from what is the norm in most thinking about traffic, especially by those stuck in it. Drivers (and, consequently, vehicle control systems) tend to be looking ever forward, responding only to what's ahead and largely ignoring what's behind. Thus, in stop-and-go or slow-and-go situations (traffic jams), each vehicle reacts to the vehicle in front, causing intermittent slowdowns or stops (jams) in wave-like patterns. When vehicles are working to maintain equal distances both from the car in front and the vehicle behind, the MIT paper contends, these wave patterns are minimized and traffic flows more smoothly.

Maintaining even spacing facilitates lane changes and merges as well.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @09:03PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @09:03PM (#610461)

    Imposter! Real race drivers use the throttle control very precisely. I've seen the data...

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +4  
       Interesting=1, Informative=2, Touché=1, Total=4
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   4  
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @03:24AM (#610604)

    He's not a race driver. He's a California driver.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by deimtee on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:07AM

    by deimtee (3272) on Saturday December 16 2017, @11:07AM (#610677) Journal

    I read an article featuring a rally driver who said (possibly paraphrasing because I don't remember the exact wording) :
      "If you aren't either accelerating at max or braking at max then you are wasting time coasting. That wasted time will cost you the race."

    Of course, whether you apply that to your daily commute is another matter.

    No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.