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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: 5, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:35AM (1 child)

    by TheGratefulNet (659) on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:35AM (#610600)

    and for the younger players out there, a trick to get people to stop following you closely from behind (during daytime) is to NOT hit your brakes, but instead, put on the headlights! yeah, the rear lights come on, also, and while not as bright as a brake-pedal bright, its a change from total off to non-off. that usually fools the driver behind you and he'll slow down and maybe learn not to drive so closely next time.

    (you're welcome)

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  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday December 18 2017, @02:10AM

    by Mykl (1112) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:10AM (#611216)

    Another thing you can do is to keep your foot on the accelerator, and quickly but firmly tap on the brake with your other foot. It has the effect of lurching you backward a little, but maintaining your speed. Frightens the hell out of tailgaters.