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Math Solves Traffic Jam Mysteries

Y'know when you're driving down a busy highway, and then you just seem to come to a halt, for no apparent reason. And then, 15 minutes of wasted time (and gas) later, things clear up with absolutely no indication of what the online is online viagra real problem could've been. Well...that mystery has been solved!

It took a team of mathematicians from all over Europe to figure it out...but figure it out they did. It turns out that occasionally a driver will overreact to some trivial event, say a new car in their lane. And that excessive breaking effects a long line of drivers who, in succession, slowly react more and it's great! generic pack viagra more dramatically until, finally, sometimes several minutes later and miles behind the original incident, traffic completely grinds to follow link womans viagra a halt.

The solution? Uh....better drivers?

That sounds like a bit too much to hope for to me. We could tell everyone to pay more attention and to not overreact...but having seen my share of daily viagra drivers in this world, I don't suspect that's going to work. The only real solution, now that we know the problem, looks to be more automated driving or even completely automated driving. Though that doesn't sound particularly appealing to online medicines rx cialis viagra order me either.

A better solution? How about effective mass transportation?

Via Physorg

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Comments (15)Add Comment
Completely automated driving?
written by Jono, December 20, 2007
Yeah, they're called subways, train, trolleys, etc... no passenger input required!

Another real solution is a shift in people's perception of personal transportation. On a busy highway, how many of those people are traveling from within five miles of the same location to within five miles of another? Do they are really need to bring their own two tons of steel?
breaking lights
written by Andy, December 20, 2007
I think automated driving would be great, but it will take 15 years for people not to freak out about the idea. In the meantime another solution would be to have break lights of different intensity based on the amount of breaking. so if one person over reacts and slightly taps their breaks, the person behind will know that it is a slight tap and will not slam on their brakes. There could be different color lights or just different intensities. More fundamentally it would help if people kept a greater following distance so that they could evaluate if the person in front was actually stopping before they slammed on ordering tramadol online their brakes.
This is best prices on brand levitra old news for some of cheap quality levitra us
written by David, December 20, 2007
This is old news for us up here in the sale viagra Pacific Northwest. The only thing the mathematicians did is make it 'official'.

Check out William Beaty's webpage from Jan 1998.
written by RhapsodyInGlue, December 20, 2007
I wonder if anyone has done a study comparing traffic jam frequency, intensity and causes for Europe verse America. I've often wondered whether the more strict lane discipline in Europe where it's illegal to be in a faster lane if you aren't actually intending to pass a slower car might help prevent some traffic jams.

Here in the States you get "casual" drivers leisurely meandering over into the fast lane only to discover their exit has arrived, at which point they slow down even further, flashing their blinkers wildly trying to cut across four lanes of traffic rather than going to the next exit and doubling back. Why inconvenience oneself when the inconvenience can be forced on the 100,000 people behind you. In Europe slowing down in the fast lane to cut over into a slower lane would get one a ticket.
written by Aaron, December 20, 2007
I've seen something a very long time ago and tramadol online no consultation fee in relation to this. If someone is stopping, and if the person behind them is far enough away, they won't have to stop much, if at all. Basically, keeping your distance from the person in front of you gives you more time to slow down and more time for them to get back up to speed and then the cialis prescriptionsgeneric cialis sale other cars behind you don't have to stop.
written by Papa Hotel, December 20, 2007
I've seen research on this before. Basically, if the traffic is heavy enough, the one person who mashes the brakes creates a 'standing wave' that sits on the highway, slowing cars as they enter, and releasing them as they leave.
written by SolarDave, December 21, 2007
Yeah, I hope these mathematician researchers save face by revealing that this was part of a 5th grade science project or something. This problem shouldn't have taken mathematicians from all over Europe to figure this out. I've seen an exhibit on this at a science museum somewhere-- Boston, maybe? That was a good suggestion about different brake lights showing the braking intensity. I think that there was a Volvo concept whose brake lights flashed quickly when the driver slammed on the brakes? Too bad designers are more focused to adding to the list of dashboard driver distractions instead of making a simple safety upgrade!
written by Eric H, December 21, 2007
These Euro-genii are only about 15 years late. American scientists at Los Alamos using computer simulations explained this years ago, showing that our government is vastly more efficient at wasting public money than theirs are (is?).
written by supergreen, December 21, 2007
Eric H.: spending money one researching the causes of traffic isn't wasted money.

But there has been a lot of levitra soft tablets research on this topic already. Nothing new to see here. Move along.
old news
written by Neil, December 22, 2007
this is very old news in England i was taught this in science lessons when i was 9, 8 years ago!!
written by N, December 22, 2007
Standing wave theory being applied to traffic conditions is rather old. Hell, Bill Beaty figured it out a decade ago, it's been confirmed long before that as well.
sounds like tailgating is buy viagra low price part of the pr
written by No, December 24, 2007
It isn't just about overreacting though is it? If you left enough room to the next car then you won't be likely to overreact. So a lot of these jams are probably caused by tailgaters or the poeple that jump between lanes without sufficient room.
Sentient Entity
written by Kyllein, December 24, 2007
Actually, this was figured out some thirty years ago, as a fluid dynamics structure. An obstructive disturbance in a gaseous fluid flow will create turbulance that perseveres long after the obstructive disturbance is removed. Instead of colliding fluid molecules, insert cars and drivers who don't want to collide, and you get the same effect.
written by Natalia the only for you viagra soft tabs Russian, December 30, 2007
Yeah right .....age old laws of physics required mathematicians to come out and tell us this...HEEEELLLO!
written by alex edwards, January 10, 2008
Yeah right! ha,ha, is this a joke?,,It took mathematicians all over Europe to figure this out this is call logical simple math in the U.S. I think even my cat can figure this out...this is a hilarious article....

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