Nobody likes them — those rush hour traffic jams on city streets and highways. In some places like Los Angeles, an 8-mile stretch on the 405 can take over 50 minutes.
But if a new sensor makes it off the drawing board and into cars, traffic jams that are not caused by car accidents could become a thing of the past.
MIT computer scientist Berthold Horn has come up with a system to keep traffic moving, and speaks with Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti.
Horn's sensor uses a camera and a computer to assess the relative velocity and distance between a car, the vehicle in front of it and behind it. It would adjust the car's speed accordingly.
Horn says the technology can be effective only "if a large fraction of the cars use that system."
While that might be a daunting sell, Horn says it is more convenient and safer for drivers.
"In stop and go traffic, I would rather press a button and have the car take over," Horn said. "Because it's stressful and it requires constant attention ... and that I'd rather delegate to some automation."
- Berthold Horn, professor of computer science and engineering at MIT.
This segment aired on November 25, 2013.