Here's a thought provoking talk on traffic by Tom Vanderbilt.
Interesting section at minute 8 where he explains why cars tend to travel in bunches and why it's so difficult to maintain a steady speed. I wonder what even a small population of driverless cars would do to impact this. I bet you'd see more non-driverless cars going "steady"
I visited San Francisco once and was amazed at how traffic would back up on mildly foggy days. Never failed. Any variable will cause chaos.
I drive too much so I get to see traffic in action. Driverless cars would certainly improve traffic flows, another stray thought was driverless trucks could be run at low peak traffic times and could be routed to avoid peak traffic areas, also driverless trucks could run 24/7 and not be restricted by the required rest periods needed by human drivers.
In many hilly regions they have truck lanes and restrict trucks from the left lane to allow the lighter vehicles to travel through, however they are quite often thwarted by functionally illiterate truck drivers and people in cars not driving the speed limit. Another human ploy that causes traffic slowdowns in urban areas is the idiot that comes down the ramp and immediately merges to the far left lane causing the cars traveling at the speed limit to slam on brakes to keep from hitting them, then everybody has to get back up to speed, eventually as the traffic load increases this causes the slowdowns, that cause traffic backups.
I wonder how driverless cars would perform in heavy fog, rain and other inclement weather?
Last edited by wahoonc; 08-02-14 at 07:26 AM.
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(
ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.
"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"_Nicodemus
"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"_krazygluon
I read his book several years ago; OUTSTANDING!
Here was an interesting test mentioned in the book: selective attention test - YouTube
Last edited by Shimagnolo; 08-02-14 at 07:40 AM.
I got caught on I-80 in one of these 0 visibility snowstorms. Had to get off because I couldn't see past my wipers, slowed down, and had cars flying around me at full speed. I'm no slouchh in the snow and can drive through just about anything, but I call it quits if I can't see the hood of my car and others around me keep on going at 80 mph.
Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!
"Think Outside the Cage"
People don't seem to realize that any bottlenecks clear the road in front of them in this way. Left-turn arrows that hold back left-turning traffic, for example, perform such a function. So do long traffic signals. So do accidents. So does narrowing a road down a lane before adding the lane back after some distance (literally a bottleneck). Remove all bottlenecks from traffic and you will eventually end up with one huge traffic jam.
Driverless cars could actually achieve a perfect singularity of a unified traffic jam if they were all steady enough and homogenously programmed. You would just need to keep adding one at a time to the roads until they all reach their simultaneous operating limitations. At that point, the backward wave would be total and everything would stop.
Hopefully at that point there will be a bike lane and sidewalks for everyone to get by the vast sea of frozen motor-traffic.