Phantom Traffic Jam

Have you ever been caught in a Phantom Traffic Jam? You know, one that just sort of appears out of nowhere, even though there is plenty of space on the road? Well, here is a little Java applet that helps you understand where it came from.

Red cars are regular cars, black cars are trucks, and the little blue car is you. Watch as you get stuck as different autos change lanes. Trucks have a slower acceleration than cars. All cars obey some basic following distance rules.

Check out number 6 "Lane Changes" as well. It's a more obvious demonstration of how stoppages occur, with solid road blocks instead of slow cars and trucks.


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