What if cars had not just brake lights, but “gas lights”?  That is, green lights that illuminate when you push on the gas.

In “The Wisdom of the Crowds”, James Surowiecki talks about experiments that have been conducted in California with cars that are capable of communicating with one another (a bit on that here). Apparently, a good portion of traffic congestion is caused by the fact that people brake in traffic much more quickly than they speed up, resulting in a very inefficient accordian effect. When cars can communicate with one another, this “bias” can be removed and the ebb and flow of traffic can be smoothed considerably.
But do we need to wait for the talking car?  If the rear-end of a vehicle had lights that communicated “speeding up” in the same way they communicate “slowing down,” could we come close to ending gridlock?

Posted via email from Human Ventures