Sure, a shining future where every car on the road is self-driving sounds great. But won't there be problems in the transition, when human drivers have to share the road with robot drivers? A 2017 study says no. Not only that, but researchers found that it would take a mere five percent of cars being automated to improve traffic on even the most crowded freeways. And like the best stories involving the relationship between man and machine, this one involves both state-of-the-art innovation as well as human psychology—it was funded by the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Physical Systems program, after all.
What Causes Stop-and-Start Traffic Jams?
Faster Traffic And Better Fuel Efficiency
Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About The Science Of Traffic Jams
Field Test from the NSF Autonomous Vehicle Study
What Causes Traffic Jams?
Key Facts In This Video
In New York City and Los Angeles, commuters spend up to three weeks per year stuck in traffic. 00:18
The real culprit of traffic jams is the sudden fluctuation in driving speed. 00:32
Traffic jams can be prevented with wider lanes and better-synchronized traffic signals. 01:24
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