Traffic is perhaps one of the most annoying things we all encounter on a daily basis. Over time, it only feels like an inevitable problem that seemingly has no end. But there’s something very interestingly simple we can actually do to fix this problem.
If everyone reacted at the same time to everything happening on the road, traffic would never really occur! However, given that every human takes a while to react, this becomes close to impossible. The world’s traffic problems thus would probably never end unless humans go out of the picture, completely!
Consider this: You’re driving and someone suddenly crosses the road in front of your car. You put on your brakes slightly. The car behind you realizes it a little late and brakes a little harder.
Now this goes on like a chain reaction for quite sometime, and eventually some of the cars towards the end come to a complete stop. Even though the cause of the problem has long been gone, the slow-down at that particular point persists for a longer time because the cars keep slowing down at that location – one behind the other.
The situation then looks somewhat like this:
It’s interesting to see how such petty reasons can cause so much congestion on the roads everyday! The basic reason why we humans face the annoying traffic is because of ourselves. It’s only because most of us get impatient after a while and react to every road situation differently that causes such a havoc on roads.
Have you ever come across a long traffic jam which felt like it would take forever? I’m sure you must’ve had thoughts about a breakdown or an accident down the road causing the congestion.
But when the traffic suddenly clears out, you realize it was nothing! Well, it’s again for the same reason – one car had been slowed down for some reason down the road and the subsequent slowing down of every car caused every car beyond a certain point to come to a standstill. On big and crowded roads, these kind of traffic jams are a real common sight.
On a roundabout, one car can slow down the entire traffic. Consider the image below:
It’s again very interesting to see how even long after the car that had slowed down once, has passed by – every car slows down at that particular location, just because the car in front of them had slowed down!
There seems to be only one possible solution to the problem apart from a turnaround of human mindset (Impossible). It is the complete removal of participation of Human Beings in driving vehicles on the road. Here’s where self driving cars help out!
Self-driving vehicles completely eliminate the requirement for traffic signals because the cars can communicate with each other in real-time!
When a traffic signal turns green, it’s impossible for humans to all start their car and move it forward at the same time, and with the same speed. This causes a time lag. Some vehicles need to wait longer because the light turns red before they pass, only because the car in front of them was too slow. Self driving cars, which can electronically talk to each other can completely eliminate this. This makes everyday commute much faster and much more efficient!