Traffic Simulation lets you create jams and experience the joy of abstract human misery

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In fact, very few people on the face of the planet know that the very shape of the M25 forms the sigil odegra in the language of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu, and means ‘Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds’.

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens


A useful reminder that no matter how easy you make it for humans (at least modeled ones) they will turn even the most benign cooperative herd activity into a snarling mess of opportunism and incapacitating self-interest.

One of my worries is that our future AI overlords will decide that keeping humans is a lot like herding cats, but way less cute.


Well you can count on me to do my part, zipping into gaps that give me a 12-inch advantage over the lane I just left, which just became the fast lane. NO!!!

EDIT: TIL we can eliminate traffic jams forever, by setting the speed limit at 10mph!


“Yay, I spent 30 seconds and endangered the lives of everyone across three lines of heavy traffic so I could get to the exit-ramp one car sooner, even though I came to a stop on the on-ramp in the middle of flowing traffic one mile back when I got on instead of just going through the intersection on the frontage road in which case I’d already be at the Starbucks to wait in line!” ~ About half the people I share the freeway with


We are all willin participants in a vast conspiracy known as “traffic”.

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It seems to work much more smoothly when you get rid of the trucks.

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Or just max out the rate of acceleration.

I suspect that this works less well once collision modeling is implemented; but if you max acceleration, deceleration, and desired speed; and minimize ‘time gap’ and ‘minimum gap’ you can get things moving pretty well at all but the densest conditions.

Now, if any of our little sims screws up, even for a moment…

I know, right? I spent probably 5 minutes trying to get them to crash!

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