"In the latest findings, published in the February issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, [University of Sydney entomologist Audrey] Dussutour's team found that ants leaving the colony automatically gave right-of-way to those returning with food. Of the returning ants, some were empty-mandibled - but rather than passing their leaf-carrying, slow-moving brethren, they gathered in clusters and moved behind them.
This seemingly counterintuitive strategy - when stuck behind a slow-moving truck, are you content to slow down? - actually saved them time.
'Leafcutters paths in particular look very much like car traffic,' said Dussutour. 'There's a lot of times on the highway when you're stuck behind a truck, and sometimes overtaking it is not optimal.'
'We essentially would have to hand over control of the vehicle to a collectively intelligent system that would move all vehicles from their source to destination,' said Marcus Randall, a Bond University software mathematician. People would be reluctant, he said, but "accidents would be virtually non-existent and travel would become much more efficient."