Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have demonstrated that there would be fewer traffic jams if drivers would stop tailgating.
The researchers found maintaining an equal distance between cars on either side, known as "bilateral control," could enable drivers to reach their destination twice as quickly. They predict that traffic would become noticeably better if just a small percentage of cars were outfitted with sensor systems on the front and rear bumpers that could help drivers maintain an equal distance between the other cars.
The researchers plan to run simulations to test whether this method is also safer for drivers.
Another proposed approach involves electronically connecting vehicles together to coordinate the distances between each other. However, this so-called "platooning" method requires detailed coordination and a massive network of connected vehicles. The researchers' approach would simplify the system, only requiring new software and some inexpensive hardware updates.
From MIT CSAIL
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