Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Emergent Traffic Chaos

Paul Kedrosky has an amazing video:

As described in the New Scientist:

Researchers from several Japanese universities managed the feat by putting 22 vehicles on a 230-metre single-lane circuit (see video).

They asked drivers to cruise steadily at 30 kilometres per hour, and at first the traffic moved freely. But small fluctuations soon appeared in distances between cars, breaking down the free flow, until finally a cluster of several vehicles was forced to stop completely for a moment.

One comment on "Emergent Traffic Chaos"

  • Derek Slater says:

    Great find. My first thought was “so everybody sucks at driving, big surprise” 🙂 Traffic studies are quite an excellent way to look at big systems with independent operators.

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