Why Traffic Jams Happen
And How to Prevent Themby Mark McNabb, on
Traffic sucks. That’s a universal truth we can all agree on. And it doesn’t matter if you’re driving the latest Tesla Model 3 or a classic BMW E36 M3 – heavy traffic not only spoils the joy of driving but also exponentially increases the likelihood of a crash. What’s worse is creeping along on the interstate, only to seemingly and instantly be back highway speeds without any visible reason for the hold-up. So how does this happen? Thankfully, the age-old question is answered in this rather informative and concise video.
I stumbled upon The Simple Solution to Traffic last night while perusing Facebook. Of course, anything dealing with the automotive sector generally warrants a quick glance, so away I started watching. It didn’t take long before the animation and narration grabbed my full attention. Turns out, much of our traffic woes stem from inattentive drivers. While that comes to the surprise of exactly no one, the resulting effects last long after the offending texter or lane weaver has driven off. Interstate backups can occur due to “phantom intersections,” or a rubber-banding effect between vehicles braking simply because the person in front of them brakes. Pretty soon, traffic is at a standstill. The solution, simply enough, it to maintain the same distance from the car in front. However, people will inevitably make mistakes. The ultimate solution, as proposed by this video and many in the automotive field, is a fully autonomous fleet of vehicles. While this won’t happen anytime soon, the result would be vehicles that communicate between themselves and the surrounding environment. The need for traffic lights at intersections would disappear, as would the nasty byproducts of human drivers like gridlocked city blocks in dense urban areas. Still, as an enthusiast and someone who generally enjoys driving, it would be hard to relinquish my steering wheel.
Learn anything from the video? Let us know in the comments.