I saw an article about an idea to put self-driving cars on the road which can drive a tiny bit slower than other cars around them, gradually allowing a large gap of antitraffic to form in front of them, which can contract to destroy a traffic jam wave.
And I was like dude I've been doing that for 10 years and I'm not an AI. You don't need an AI, you need one person in a thousand to have read Bill Beatty's traffic wave theories.

To make a traffic jam without an instigating event, you need thousands of drivers driving like jerks, tailgating and being aggressive with throttle and brake. This happens every day in Pittsburgh. Unmaking a traffic jam only takes two or three good drivers.

@ifixcoinops I read in a British advanced driving guide that if there are 4 cars ahead to leave a bigger gap rather than follow close behind which I do at busy places like the approach to the spiral roundabout here that goes to the A12/A14 (this works well, and avoids surprises and near misses when someone realises they are in wrong lane to get to Essex/London)

@vfrmedia A thing they do in England that they don't do here is the adaptive motorway speed limits, which I saw acting in what seemed like arbitrary ways, but which were probably sensing traffic flow and creating a smooth slowdown to 40 or 50 in order to dissipate a forming jam a few miles up the road.

(another thing America needs to do is enforce speed limits for white drivers)

((I never thought I'd say this, but I actually miss speed cameras))


@ifixcoinops I encountered these when driving to Reading to visit relatives who still live there - sometimes it looks like the limits are changing like a fruit machine but if you keep your wits about you it isn't too bad (and there is a minutes grace period during the changeover)

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