Science MIT Works to Solve Traffic Jam Problem Shane McGlaun (Blog) - June 10, 2009 11:06 AM MIT mathematicians model traffic jams like detonation waves Most drivers have been stuck in a traffic jam at one point or another. Some of the jams are caused by an accident or closed lanes. Other traffic jams crop up with seemingly no reason. A group of mathematicians at MIT is working on the development of a new model to explain how and why these so-call phantom traffic jams form. According to the researchers, these types of phantom traffic jams form when there are a lot of cars on the road and small disturbances like a driver hitting the brakes too hard or getting too close to another car. These little disturbances can escalate into a self-sustaining traffic jam. The model developed by the team of researchers may help road designers build roads to minimize the possibility of phantom traffic jams. The key to the study is the discovery that the mathematics of these jams called jamitons are very similar to the equations used to describe the detonation waves produced by explosions. The discovery of the jamitons allowed the researchers to solve traffic jam equations first theorized in the 1950's. The equations are reportedly similar to those used in fluid mechanics and model traffic jams as self-sustaining waves. The equations allowed the researchers to calculate the conditions that case a jamitons to form and how fast the jamiton will spread. According to the researchers, once this type of jamiton forms it is nearly impossible to break up and a driver’s only choice is to wait the jamiton out. The researchers say that the new model can help road designers to determine speed limits that are safer and find stretches of road where accidents are more likely. One of the researchers, Aslan Kasimov, said, "We wanted to describe this using a mathematical model similar to that of fluid flow." Kasimov and his team say that they discovered that jamitons have a sonic point that separates traffic flow into upstream and downstream components. Communication of the cause of the jamiton to drivers it the downstream segment of traffic is impossible say the researchers. "The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke Latest Headlines Swedish Commuters can use Futuristic Hand September 12, 2017, 7:10 AM New system can reconstruct faces using person’s DNA September 7, 2017, 6:18 AM Meet your new doctor – Robo-doctor August 26, 2017, 8:15 AM PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016 November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM Most Popular ArticlesSamsung Galaxy S9 – Latest LeaksSeptember 24, 2017, 6:57 AMLondon Petition to Save Uber – 633,853 SignaturesSeptember 24, 2017, 6:45 AMGoogle Pixel 2XL will reportedly cost less.September 20, 2017, 6:17 AMGoogle Home Mini – Debuts on October 4th at Google Pixel EventSeptember 20, 2017, 6:58 AMUber faces ban in London – Loses License next month.September 22, 2017, 7:02 AM Latest Blog Posts Australia joins UK space radar mission Saimin Nidarson - Sep 26, 2017, 6:25 AM China disrupts WhatsApp ahead of Communist Party meeting Saimin Nidarson - Sep 26, 2017, 6:18 AM Uber using ‘aggressive’ tactics says Mayor Saimin Nidarson - Sep 25, 2017, 9:51 AM Australia to create national space agency Saimin Nidarson - Sep 25, 2017, 9:38 AM Zuckerberg wants to sell 35-75 million of Facebook shares Saimin Nidarson - Sep 25, 2017, 9:33 AM
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