Improve Traffic: Let Your Car Drive
"Synchronized flow is, in physics-speak, in unstable equilibrium: The slightest change, such as a driver changing lanes and forcing others to brake, tips the system into a new state. The result is stop-and-go traffic, a true jam.Physicists are exploring whether adaptive cruise control can prevent this. In ACC, a radar sensor gauges the distance between cars, automatically adjusting speed to maintain a safe distance. Because ACC, which has become standard on some luxury vehicles, can adapt instantly if the lead car brakes (humans take about 0.75 second to react), cars can tailgate safely. ACC can therefore pack more cars into a mile of highway, increasing a road's de facto capacity."
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Thanks to Chris Steins