The end of traffic jams? Dutch test new system

Nov 06, 2013
Tests will be carried out on a 75-kilometre (around 50 mile) stretch of motorway passing through the Netherlands, from Germany to Belgium

Researchers in the Netherlands will next year test a GPS navigation system aimed at preventing the international curse of motorway traffic jams by telling drivers which lane to move to.

Tests will be carried out as early as April on a 75-kilometre (around 50 mile) stretch of motorway passing through the Netherlands, from Germany to Belgium, which is popular with freight lorries.

"Traffic jams can be caused by a line of trucks," Paul van Koningsbruggen from Dutch IT firm Technolution told AFP.

"It's a : when a car drives up behind a truck, it brakes, then the car behind brakes, this time a bit more, and so on, until a car some distance away has to almost come to a standstill, and that's when you get a traffic jam," he said.

By letting know in time that they should change lanes and drive at a certain speed, researchers hope they can prevent traffic jams forming.

Dutch GPS navigation equipment specialist TomTom and Delft University are also involved in the research.

"The idea is that around 1,000 drivers take part in the tests," said TomTom's Peter Krootjes.

"We don't yet know when it will be a marketable product, that depends on how successful the tests are," said Krootjes.

Volunteers taking part in the project will download an app to their smartphones, while some volunteers' cars will be equipped with additional sensors and cameras to get more data.

The system will however only work if at least 30-40 percent of drivers on a certain stretch of motorway are using it.

"If only one driver changes lane or speed, that's not going to prevent a traffic jam forming," Van Koningsbruggen said.

"It seems ambitious to say the system will mean the end of traffic jams," said Krootjes.

"What's for sure is that a driver who is well informed about will get home much more quickly, but this will also diminish the number of for everybody," he said.

Explore further: Mathematical equation could reduce traffic jams

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User comments : 10

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1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 06, 2013
That is not how traffic jams work. Someone does brake hard and this continues behind that driver, but drivers on the other lanes slow down and/or stop to rubberneck the problem, stopping those lanes too. Shifting lanes and adjusting speed will not get you through the pile of stupidity you are about to run into.
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2013
It would be nice if you could, quite simply, get all the vehicles to move at the same time at the same speed, however slow that might be, until the ones in front can go a little faster, then the whole "car train" gets rolling and the traffic jam is over. Of course, this would mean actually taking control the vehicles instead of instructing the drivers.
1 / 5 (10) Nov 06, 2013

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not rated yet Nov 06, 2013
It's not going to work, because all those lane changes will result in more accidents, which will cause even worse traffic jams.
not rated yet Nov 06, 2013
This is going to work for the Dutch, but it will fail horribly for individualistic Americans.
1 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2013
This is going to work for the Dutch, but it will fail horribly for individualistic Americans.
Meaning what, exactly? The Dutch were instrumental in the building of America as you know it today. Are you suggesting that the Netherlands, which was the first nation in the world to develop a middle class, are a bunch of commies?
1 / 5 (8) Nov 07, 2013
There's an old saying: Any question posed in the title of an article has "no" as its answer. This one is no different. Per TFA: "It seems ambitious to say the system will mean the end of traffic jams," said Krootjes.
not rated yet Nov 07, 2013
Yet another driving tool for people to ignore while texting or watching YouTube behind the wheel. The Dutch already have Live updates for TomTom. They have traffic signs that place lower limits on speed as they approch a jam. All are ignored until it's time to break hard...then they accelerate slowly back up to speed. If the tool helps the drivers acceleration curve to match their deceleration curve, pay attention and active responsibly, then maybe...
1 / 5 (11) Nov 07, 2013
Another machine to tell us what to do on the roads and not just simply look at the road yourself and use common sense as to what to do. Lost count of the amount of times I have nearly been a smudge on the road due to people blindly following a sat nav and just not LOOKING. If I see a truck or lorry 400-500 metres away I move into the next lane so I don't get caught behind it. However you do get drivers who seemingly have there eyes shut, end up 5ft behind a lorry and then get pissed off as to why they're now stuck doing 50mph and cant get into the fast lane as people are cruising by them. Not very sympathetic. A retard could figure out the result of getting behind a lorry or truck on a motorway.

Instead of spending loads of money on yet another machine, how about we just ban retards from the roads
1 / 5 (11) Nov 07, 2013
Instead of spending loads of money on yet another machine, how about we just ban retards from the roads

A common and understandable feeling. But there are probably 10% of the people on the road and not more than 20% who drive defensively, proactively and rationally. Those people pay attention and drive with others in mind.

As a practical matter, we can hardly ban 80% of the population from driving.

There really is no good solution to bad driving because driving is so important to all of us.