Why Is It So Hard to Fix Traffic?


[♪INTRO] So you’re sitting at an intersection in
rush hour traffic, waiting for that light to turn green. But when it does, you can’t move. There are stopped cars in your way still. Cars behind you start to honk, convinced that
you are texting or sleeping or the incarnation of pure evil — but you’re just as stuck
as they are, and the cars in front of you… they can’t go anywhere, either. So you just sit there, exasperatedly watching
the light turn from green to yellow, and then from yellow back to red. And you didn’t move a centimeter. Traffic jams can be incredibly frustrating. And if you’ve ever been stuck in traffic
with someone else in the car, you’ve probably talked through all kinds of ways that roads
could’ve been designed better. Maybe you’d change the timing of traffic
lights so that nobody ever sat through another green without moving. Maybe you’d change where or how cars merge
onto the highway. Or maybe you dream bigger, and you’d add
new lanes or whole new roads to give everyone more room to drive. But none of that is as simple as it sounds. Scientists studying everything from fluid
dynamics to psychology have contributed to our understanding of traffic, which is a huge
problem that our society has, and they have found that traffic jams don’t necessarily
happen because of poorly designed roads — or because everyone but you is a terrible driver. In fact, the seemingly obvious solutions to
traffic sometimes make things even worse. One of the simplest models of a traffic jam
doesn’t involve humans at all. It involves a bag of rocks. If you cut a hole in the corner of the bag,
you can pour rocks out of the hole. Obviously. But if you try to force too many rocks through
the hole, eventually they’ll go through what’s called a jamming transition, and
no rocks will flow at all. There will be so much pressure on the rocks
near the opening that they can’t move aside to let other rocks out and relieve the pressure,
so none can fall out of the bag. Jamming can happen whenever a bunch of objects
are flowing through an opening or channel — whether it’s rocks, or air bubbles in
a liquid … or even cars moving on a road. They move pretty freely when there aren’t
a lot of cars around, like on a remote highway at night. But when there are too many cars trying to
squeeze onto the same roads, you get a jamming transition: There are so many cars that none
of them can really go anywhere. Which means that you don’t need bottlenecks
or bad drivers to start a traffic jam; sometimes, they just happen because there are too many
cars in one place. The similarities also make scientific models
of those bags of rocks useful tools for engineers trying to mitigate traffic jams — although
whether driving makes you personally feel like a rock in a bag probably depends on when
and where you usually drive. But jamming transitions are far from the only
way that traffic has been studied. Mathematicians, computer scientists, physicists,
psychologists — they all have something to say about traffic jams. And a lot of it turns out to be pretty counterintuitive. Take Braess’ paradox, which involves a combination
of statistics and human behavior. When traffic is caused by too many cars on
the road, you would think that adding more driving space would help — whether that
means adding more roads, or more lanes to existing roads. Except in some cases, adding more driving
space makes congestion worse, not better. That’s the paradox, and it’s why alleviating
rush hour traffic isn’t as easy as just widening major roads or adding more big, connecting
streets. Braess’ paradox exists because drivers tend
to be fairly selfish — and not just the ones who’d cut you off right when you’re
trying to get on the exit ramp. We’re selfish simply because we take the
route we think will be fastest. So if you build an additional road that starts
out with lighter traffic or acts as a shortcut, people are going to take that route until
it’s just as congested as the roads that it’s supposed to relieve. If drivers worked together, with some people
taking the shortcut and some not taking it, then yeah, we’d all get where we’re going
faster. But we don’t work together, and that makes
everyone’s commutes worse. New driving space also tends to lead to more
people driving in the first place, congesting the roads even more. So maybe it shouldn’t really be all that
surprising when, for example, the state of California builds new roads to relieve older
roads with lots of traffic, and it doesn’t help very much. The new ones become just as gridlocked as
the old ones within a few years. On the flip side, removing a busy road can
make traffic better in some cases. Seoul in South Korea and San Francisco both
removed freeways that carried more than a hundred thousand people a day into and out
of the cities. In both cases, commuting was either the same
or even smoother after the massive freeways were removed and replaced with roads designed
to hold way less traffic. Some commuters gave up their cars and relied
on public transit instead, while others found more efficient routes that they’d never
explored when the highway was there. Of course, you don’t want to take Braess’
paradox too far. Like, we do need some roads for our cars to
travel down, and some highway expansions have reduced traffic jams. But planning and predicting traffic patterns
definitely isn’t as easy as it might seem from the driver’s seat. And honestly, as a driver, you’re probably
not helping, either. Different driving styles can have a big impact
on the flow of traffic — and drivers tend to do a lot of things that make traffic worse
for everyone around them, including themselves. First, and maybe most obvious, there are those
really aggressive drivers who weave between lanes on the highway. Study after study has found that driving this
way tends to leave behind what are known as traffic waves. When someone cuts in front of you, it’s
natural to tap the brakes to keep from getting too close to hitting them. That’s the safe thing to do, so I’m not
saying you should stop doing that. But when the person behind you sees your brake
lights, they also tend to hit the brakes. And they’ll probably slow down just a little
bit more than you did, because if they didn’t, they might get too close to you or even hit
you. The person behind them does the same thing,
slowing down even more, and … you probably see where I’m going with this. If there are enough cars traveling close together,
eventually someone way behind you comes to a complete stop. All because someone cut someone else off,
like, a few minutes ago. Once one car stops, so does the next car,
and the next. That’s the “wave” part of the traffic
wave, crashing over each successive car. As traffic slows down in one lane, people
are going to swerve out of it into the other lanes — which makes the people in those lanes
hit the brakes as well. And before you know it, there’s a full-blown
traffic jam. Events like these can cause those jams on
the highway where you spend the whole time assuming that there’s some terrible accident
or construction at the end, only to just… speed up after you hit, like, nowhere spot. What happened!? You know, the times when you feel really bad
that you feel frustrated that there was not an accident slowing everybody down. One of the best ways scientists have found
to avoid getting hit by the traffic wave is to just leave more space between you and the
car in front of you. With more space between cars, you don’t
have to hit the brakes every time a car in front of you hits their brakes — and it’ll
make the drive easier both for you and all of the hundreds of people behind you. Plus, when you follow further back, you’re
less likely to get in a car accident. And that’s good for everybody. This might seem like a kind of weird strategy,
especially in city traffic, because you’d think you’d miss things like traffic lights
more often. Like, if you’re sitting a few cars back
at a red light, it seems like you’d have a better chance of making it through the intersection
during the next light cycle if you’re as close to the light as possible. And the only way to get closer to the light
is to get closer to the car in front of you. But when you crunch the numbers, it turns
out that’s just flat-out wrong. Any gains you might get from being closer
to the light are balanced out by having to wait longer to accelerate. Because if you’re super close to the car
in front of you, you have to wait for them to start moving before you can. But if you’re farther back, you can start
moving as soon as you see the light change. As a result, cars waiting further away from
the car in front of them get through intersections just as quickly as the tailgaters. And like on the highway, leaving more space
between you and the car in front of you makes things safer for everybody. On top of that, aggressive drivers, who accelerate
sharply and brake a lot, use around 20% more gas than their calmer counterparts. And they get in more minor and fatal car crashes
— without actually reducing their travel times all that much. But it isn’t just aggressive drivers making
things worse for the rest of us. Driving too slowly or timidly can slow down
traffic, too. Some people leave plenty of room, but they
still brake as soon as the person ahead brakes the tiniest bit to avoid getting any closer. Or, if the left lane is closed up ahead, most
of us don’t want to be that car that just pulls in at the last possible moment before
merging right. And we all know how tempting it is to punish
the people who do that by not letting them merge with us when their lane ends. But moving over way way before the lane actually
ends leaves a whole bunch of unused road up there, and it forces the cars in your lane
to slow down just to let you in. And because of traffic waves, you never just
slow down the cars immediately behind you in traffic. There’s always that ripple effect. When a lane ends, the safest and smoothest
way to merge is what’s called zipper merging, where cars stay in their lanes until the merge
happens, and then cars from both lanes take turns going forward like the teeth of a zipper. That maybe feels inconsiderate, but zipper
merging can reduce traffic congestion by about 40%, which seems, like, worth a honk or two
by people who don’t get it. With subjects as variable as humans, it’s
essentially impossible for scientists to prescribe a one-size-fits-all driving strategy that
will make traffic flow smoother in all situations. But you’ve probably noticed some patterns
throughout this video: the kinds of behaviors that make traffic worse also lead to more
accidents, and that’s no coincidence. It comes back to those jamming transitions
that happen with rocks: The more objects crammed into one space, the less each one is able
to move, and the more likely they are to move into each other’s space. Which is fine when the objects in question
are rocks. It’s not as fine when they’re cars that
have soft meat-bags inside. And if there’s one thing scientists have
generally found reduces gridlock, it’s leaving more space between cars so they aren’t crammed
so closely together, even in slow-moving traffic. For city traffic engineers, the trick for
choosing speed limits, road patterns, lane restrictions, and new construction projects
is balance: Balance between the physics of jamming and
the psychology of driving; balance between rush hour and the middle of the night; balance
between the ideal city for traffic and the ideal city for humans. But as drivers, we have our own balancing
acts, too. We have to balance what we think will make
our trips faster with the science of what actually will make them faster, and we have
to balance our vindictive instincts with our empathy for the other humans around us. So that hopefully when that next light turns
red and you still haven’t moved, there’s just a little bit less yelling and honking. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! If you’re interested in more in-depth episodes
on complex topics like this one, you might like our video about why scientists haven’t
cured Alzheimer’s yet despite the massive amount of research being done. And also if you want just more information
in general don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe! [♪OUTRO]

100 thoughts on “Why Is It So Hard to Fix Traffic?”

  1. ..at a time in Toronto,cops just walked up and gave you a ticket if you were stuck mid-interesction causing a gridlock> very effective

  2. I know this isn't the best solution, but if traffic is getting real bad I would be sure to not leave enough room for them to cut in front of me. Granted that involves breaking the 2 second rule but I find the merging collision risk to be higher than the sudden stop risk.

  3. the real problem with traffic, the idiot that said you cant work from home cause they dont trust you. so instead you drive all the way to work, to sit at a computer at a cubicle and talk to no one all day.

  4. Hey I see where you're coming from with adding more lanes, but firsthand i will say that on i-270 in columbus, on the west side of 270 south, they added a 4th lane to the highway's entire north/south-going stretch. In this case, it legitimately made the commute from the north side to the south side from about 35 or 40 minutes because of stops, to full speed traffic with no slowdowns, taking about 20 minutes tops to go the whole distance. It can really, really help in some cases.

  5. Bring on the self driving cars. It will make traffic considerably safer and more efficient by eliminating human decisions and reaction times

  6. This video is based on a perspective from somebody who isn't a "driver", or somebody who is comfortable behind the wheel. You are spot on about traffic waves, I call it the accordion effect but same idea, as well as the zipper merge. Nobody wants to be that guy, but if DOT would put up a sign that says "Merge at merge point" then maybe folks will catch on.

    The issue I have is how the blame is skewed on aggressive drivers. Slow drivers cause traffic jams. As you pointed out, as traffic increases, traffic jams occur due to too many vehicles being on the road. If you could systematically move vehicles through the infrastructure at an extremely high rate of speed you would limit the number of vehicles on the road at any given point of time and eliminate any traffic jams. So slow drivers cause traffic jams.

    Obviously this has its limits, and nobody should drive any faster than THEY THEMSELVES feel comfortable with. With that being said, there are
    -Extremely slow drivers
    -People in the left lane getting passed on the right
    -Nobody using turn signals
    -BMW's going 10 under in the left lane getting passed on the right
    -Swift gave everyone a CDL and a truck to crash
    -Some jackhole in a beamer swerving across 4 lanes of traffic because they were cruising in the hammer lane for the past 20 minutes going 10 under the speed limit getting passed by Swift trucks on the right when they suddenly realized they were 1/4 mile from their exit so they try to get over but there's no room because the traffic is backed up because they've been an artery in the vein of the infrastructure for the past 20 minutes and traffic is jammed and then they hold up traffic even more trying to get to the exit

    So maybe the aggressive drivers are sometimes just the ones who are trying to make the godforsaken thing work by getting up on and out with it.

  7. In ID light length and timings are designed by the same conservative people who run the state. A 4 year old could do better.

  8. It's nice to learn more, but ultimately not helpful, as the percentage of people who learn these things, and use them will be negligible. You might even be worse off as knowing more and not being able to do a damn thing about it can be frustrating. The only hope is self driving cars that all know where each other are at all time, or some other way to move meat bags around that doesn't involve each body or pair of bodies having their own big machine.

  9. Question about Jamming: Is that also how Electromagnetic Jamming, or Signal Jamming, more or less works? You flood so many signals to a source that none of them get through?

  10. Sorry to be philosophical for a moment~ but, I'm going to be just that, as there are far more considerate conclusions than say, a general decline in IQ. Perhaps it is the lack of patience, or people's lack of a proper definition for patience. First and foremost in my mind patience is not how long that you are willing to wait, but rather think and analyze before deciding on something, both look the same~ but the latter requires more seemingly worthless effort however it surely isn't. Next in my mind, if it does boil down to waiting, analyze the turmoil- and find in your mind adequate justification without bending the plausible truth unto yourself, this I find helpful because there is no way to say things will go your, or my way~ so it grants crucial positivity amid turmoil. Lastly, though the second is a spin of the first patience is fundamentally the only way to become fully considerate, and to learn, and to make sense of all that is around you~ it likely will always be more complicated than your first impression so take second and third impressions lest you really think one chance defines having good patience. I expect constructive rebukes~ I'm sure I messed up somewhere. This is the internet after all, the opinion, knowledge, and fact stack exchange. Or points left out, this is the subject of patience, and I'm not concluded. I didn't even really define it here I guess.

  11. Thanks for validating what I thought. I drive full time and I have come to the same conclusions that you outline in this video. One point I slightly disagree on is that it's not necessarily aggressive drivers that will cause waves, it's also people who speed. They don't have to be weaving through lanes, cutting people off, they just catch up to traffic and hit their brakes. I think they cause slowdowns by overfilling the capacity of the road which causes the rocks in the bag scenario you use.

  12. Begins to slow down when light turns red
    Watches other drivers go around and accelerate towards red light
    Stops behind car/s that passed
    repeat

  13. it's usually 1 or 2 peeps, you can only go as fast as the slowest grandma. Also, all it takes is 1 guy cutting off traffic causing traffic waves.

  14. I always made sure to keep plenty of space ahead of me. I do this so that I brake less often (ensuring safe distance) and make sure cars don't brake behind me and get into the ripple effect. I have been doing this for years but there are always people who would love to fill in space or fools that honk behind me thinking that if I reduce the space by accelerating faster in a traffic they would reach their destination sooner.
    The road designs are flawed in many ways and I have a lot of ideas to fix them but don't know who would listen to just a normal person!

  15. This video had a lot of good information in it, but failed to denote the critical misconception about “AGGRESSIVE” drivers. I am an aggressive driver, meaning that I might sarcastically wave or flip you off but only if you are knowingly putting other people in danger. Tailgating, failing to yield to bikers and pedestrians, and the worst of all-impeding the flow of traffic for no reason at all. Because regardless of what you expect people to do, they will inevitably pile up behind you following each other much closer than is considered safe. That is how it will be, as long as humans are driving. So until automation can save us from each other, can you please stop being a jerk and let the traffic flow?

  16. Drivers Licensing should be much more difficult than it is. As a CDL holder who spends 9-10 hours 6 days a week on I-25,i-80,i-70,i-40, and i-35 I can state with confidence that roughly 2 out of 5 drivers I observe merging onto the highway are doing it incorrectly and in violation of federal law. I believe to remedy the situation, the government should revamp the drivers licensing program into something more difficult that educates more thoroughly and greatly improves smart and safe driving. Roughly 40% of people currently driving are dangerous and can kill innocent motorists due to their ignorance of the laws. If unlawful drivers were removed from the road and forced to public transit–where they BELONG–traffic all across America would see an incredibly sharp decline, as would accidents and fatalities. DRIVING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT!

  17. I don't think leaving more space between cars would help, because it will ALWAYS be filled by another car.

  18. So the only real way to deal with traffic is to outright get rid of roads? Sounds pretty absurd but in city environments, yes, this actually makes sense. There’s literally not enough space for everyone’s cars in a city.

  19. Magical moment of my life was a lady straddling lanes to prevent others from driving to the end of the lane (to zipper merge) getting pulled over.

  20. When zipper merging, I’ve noticed that a lot of drivers don’t like to drive down the on ramp at the speed of traffic. It seems like most people prefer to do 45mph on the ramp, then speed up once on the freeway. I was taught that the correct way to come down the ramp is, if there is no traffic in front of you while in the ramp, drive faster than the flow of the freeway. That way you don’t merge into a car. And if you are on the freeway, don’t slow down for the vehicles on the on ramp; you have the right of way. The vehicle on the ramp either needs to speed up to get in front of you, or slow down to get behind you.

  21. On a recent holiday In Sri Lanka (where there are basically NO rules when it comes to driving) I was amazed at how well traffic flowed and how few accidents occurred. It seems that when there are no rules our innate selfishness is mitigated by our basic human self protection and the result is better than the nanny state.
    I live and drive in London UK and traffic is awful. I sit at a red light for minutes with No traffic going anywhere.

  22. Moral of the story: idiots who don't use a blinker, or insist on going two cars at a time and not doing the zipper method, don't do that. Use the blinker you knobhead

  23. Humans and their decision making skills are the problem creating traffic. Automation and information sharing is the cure.

  24. If everyone used google maps I think the single-road congestion would lessen, due to it showing which route has the least traffic at any moment

  25. Here's a surefire way to relieve traffic, reduce accidents, and lower carbon emissions: quintuple public transit, eliminate fares, and pay for it with an ever-increasing tax on gasoline. Problem solved.

  26. Actually, it IS bad drivers. Idiots slow down for green lights, try to merge on the interstate at 40 mph, and generally do not take the right of way and barely understand the rules of the road.

  27. One thing about zipper merging, match speed with the lane you’re merging into, or you create the traffic jam.

  28. Everyone is just a slow-ass driver where I live (Geelong, Aus.): the population here is, on average, old, and everyone is taught to be too cautious. Plus, everyone is always asleep behind the wheel – the light will turn green but people won't move for another five to ten seconds.

  29. "Whether driving makes you personally feel like a rock in a bag probably depends on where you drive."

    Nope. Driving always makes me feel that way. Put me on a motorcycle, though…

  30. it's interesting how all of the best solutions involve us treating each-other as equals. I wonder why that might be? (cough cough, Alfie Kohn, cough cough)

  31. I pride myself on my driving skills, but it appears I still have some to learn as I had never known that it was better to drive all the way to end of the lane with a lane closure, I always try to get over as soon as I see the sign warning of a closed lane, when I drove semi this is what I was instructed to do during training.

  32. Only way to fix traffic is to have fewer cars. We need to get more people on bicycles, walking, or on mass transit. In places where the mode share is nearly evenly split the have no real traffic issues. Cars are great for long distance travel, but not really meant for city use, That's where the bicycle and walking are king. Mass transit is great for longer distances within the city. Problem is we have decided to use just one tool to do everything, and that's only going to result in congestion.

  33. I wish it could be as easy as leave space in front of you, but with the other drivers what will most likely come of it is that they will go around you, closing that space.

  34. Apparently, Germans drive better than us Americans do. Too much ego based driving here!

  35. I traveled 50 miles to work..one way for 21 years. i found that the closer it got to the time most people need to be at work, the more aggressive the drivers become. I always put a lot of space between me and the car in front. As Captain Stubby of WLS fame said back in the 50's when he'd sign off his morning show, "Pay attention to the car behind the car in front of you"

  36. Only solution: make obtaining a license a privilege exclusively reserved for the highly intelligent. The driving test needs to include the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery and some physics and chemistry problems.

    This also should apply to owning a weapon and reproducing.

  37. If you wanna help traffic in Texas deflate your egos and keep your speed limit driving butts out of the passing lane
    Your egos are so big you think everything in Texas is bigger wrong everything is smaller except your egos

  38. People here in Nashville just run the red light even in front of the cops and the cops don’t do anything about it.

  39. Alzemers will never be cured. Because drug companies are making to much money providing drugs for the side effects.

  40. Thanks! You stole my zipper idea! 😉 I've been telling people that for years. Vindication at last! Rikki Tikki.

  41. Nope, it's very easy. Just well-functioned metro,trains, trams and busses and efficient walking and cycling. And you done with road frustration

  42. Cars should have smart features like tell the driver they should move to the right lane with caution because they are causing a backup being in the fast lane while speed matching the slow lane.

  43. Lol was half way thru the video, about to say keep some distance between you n the car, n all the advantages, but he got right to it, video stole my comment lol.

  44. Maybe old people, soccer moms, and women should be banned from driving. Maybe school buses shouldn't have stops every block. We should be able to pass school buses. Pedestrians shouldn't have right of way.

  45. I've employed a driving game in the middle of Los Angeles traffic that has made driving in such traffic a bit easier. The object of the game is to basically use the break as little as possible to stop the car. So what that entails is, when traffic is crawling along at 5 or 10 miles an hour, letting the car in front of me Go 50 or even 100 car lengths before I move. And when I move, I simply use the idle instead of pressing the gas. By doing this, I've been able to treat traffic hour like a lazy river instead of a headache. I've managed to go 10 miles without once tapping on my break. Do people cut in front of me? Of course, but I don't care.

    This video hits the nail on the head, that traffic is the result of selfishness. If everybody endeavored to drive 20 miles an hour instead of rubbernecking between zero and 60, traffic would be less stressful and more fluid, just slower then an open highway.

  46. I am surprised that in the multiple comments I read (a lot) no one seemed to mention the obvious solution: Self-driving, fully automated cars. Humans CAN NOT take over. As scary as everyone seems to think this is, it IS the solution. Drivers are rude and selfish. They don't work together and are vindictive. A central traffic coordinator that all the cars obey or at least the cars can communicate and figure it out together. But it is important that the decision is made by an impartial computer, and the drivers have no input to interject their selfishness. People are bad about not obeying traffic laws. One thing mentioned in the video as a solution and I saw some commenters correctly commenting about is leaving more distance between yourself and the car in front of you. People will jump in front of you every time, then you have to slow down to make the space between you and THAT car, then another car jumps in between you and THAT car. And so on and so on. A reminder: Right turn on red is if there is no one coming, not so you can squeeze into traffic. If you can see someone coming, DON'T TURN! You have no right to turn. You will get a green light on your side soon enough. And if there isn't space on the other side of the intersection, it is illegal to move into the intersection, that includes right turns. Self driving cars could much more easily execute a zipper merge. There would also be absolutely no need for traffic lights. It would calculate at every intersection you will encounter how to get through so that no one ever has to stop. Reducing one car's speed, while increasing another car's speed. And it would have calculated all of this before you even started the trip. But all of this bliss and utopia is impossible as long as a single selfish human is allowed to make the driving decisions.

  47. Ten years ago my family was on vacation in Italy. Italians apparently L o V e honking, especially at traffic-lights. They would honk in near perfect harmony the split second the light went green, which got on our nerves. So my dad started honking himself whenever he was in front. It was hilariously effective.

  48. Build new traffic outlets/tunnels and charge for using it. Have a monthly cost so that it would be too expensive for, say, 30% of people. Now you should have a new path that’s faster and the older one now has less drivers in it. Maybe it’s not ideal, but it’s an idea…

  49. Traffic is just an automotive update of a reliable source for exeistential ennui.

    It really makes no sense and yet we seem to have no choice but to be a part of it.

  50. Unlike with Ants, people have too many variables to control. The idea that traffic is just as simple as changing patterns of desired routes is not so simple and may never be solvable.

  51. 5:20 A Traffic Wave is known as a Phantom Tailback in Brit-speak and they looked at reducing the visual distractions that tend to encourage phantom braking on expressways. Most are unavoidable like overpasses and road signs.

    Expressways have too many ramps too close together. Remove two of every three exit and on ramps and the expressway works for commuting. Use service roads for shorter trips.

    Consider banning big rigs during peak commuter times or restrict them to using automatic turnpike roads.

    Everyone has to be willing to budge and give something up to make the status quo change for the better.

  52. Highways are going to get congested, they’re limited by space.

    Intersections need overpasses, timed lights need to be removed, better synching between subsequent lights.

  53. Don't forget time! if people would leave for their destinations early they could drive more leisurely & cause less accidents & traffic jams

  54. Can't we just make cars have energy fields that cause the adams inside them to lineup in a direction that corresponds with the free space available between the atoms of other atom aligned cars. Actually, never mind that sounds too dangerous if it failed.

  55. We need to manufacture some sort of a technology that allows cars to communicate with eachother. Then they can coordinate with eachother and tell you the best route to take. My idea for this would be a navigation system that you tell it everytime you are in the car where you are going. It will then map out the best route for you depending on all of the others cars in the network around you. It would take a lot of data and storage however it would work!

  56. I agree with everything, but traffic engineers being balanced. In an age when every one has a phone that can do any thing from logistics to tickling your nuts, it's hard to believe that a stoplights can't tell that it's holding up traffic for absolutely no one. I often wonder if they get paid off by the fossil fuel industry to increase fuel waist and consumption.

  57. Get rid of half the cars on earth. This may not help human transportation….. but at least their will not be as much traffic.

  58. I've seen the expressway begin to and end up congested because some idiot slowed to 30 mph to exit. It makes you want to beat them up for it. I'm a calm considerate driver btw.

  59. I'm surprised Hank did spent at least half of the time talking about public transportation. I mean come on! That's how you solve the problem!

  60. I'd argue that the primary reason for congestion is just incredibly inefficient use of cars and space. Most of people driving are solo drivers commuting to/from work. Meaning that vehicle meant for 4+ people is only used for one person. I'm sure vehicle congestion would decrease significantly of more people used motorcycles, or you would have a mandatory carpooling scheme, where you would pay double or triple the road tax if your vehicle is only used for transporting one person

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