Here’s A Simple Explanation Of How Self-Driving Cars Could Eliminate Traffic

On the highways or in the cities, sometimes traffic jams extend as far as the eye can see. You snail along at a glacial pace until all of a sudden traffic just clears up for no reason. Self-driving cars aim to fix that.

Advertisement

Traffic usually is the result of human reaction time. The “accordion effect”—where one car slows down, and the car behind that slows down, which causes all the cars behind them to slow down—is the cause of most slowdowns.

If we eliminated human reaction time, human error and human drivers, the video reasons, and let the cars do all the decision-making, then traffic would be a thing of the past. Autonomous cars wouldn’t tailgate, for example, which is a major reason for backups.

Advertisement

That’s the goal, anyway. We’ll have to see if it works.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

mrmcqueen21v2
MrMcQueen21v2

And this is why I’m in favor of self-driving cars, as long as it’s not mandatory, and I can take my car for a run through the twisties.

I do a lot of driving, and anytime we get stuck in traffic, my dad always likes to try to figure out what happened when we get to the front, it’s nearly always “I don’t see anything” “Dad, there’s an on ramp...that’s all that’s needed”