Vehicle: Car: Speed: Control
Driver Sorting   (0)  [vote for, against]
Rate your speed, and congregate accordingly

*forgiveness, I beg. It's been a long time, and my brain feels very rusty.*

Being in traffic is a strange thing. The speed limit is generally established by law, and regarded in varying degrees by different drivers, and this regard often changes during the course of a single drive for each driver. Relatively speaking then, some go fast, some go slow, and some just keep pace. The discrepancies in one's desired speed and one's speed as enforced by other traffic often lead to frustration at the least.

Each driver should have a device to rate his current speed with respect to the speed at which he intends to drive. I suggest a scale of five points, i.e., I want to go much slower, slower, this speed, faster or much faster. The ratings for each driver would be broadcast to the surrounding vehicles, and the system would decide which drivers to place together according to preference, and recommend lane changes at appropriate times, as below:

Each system would decide on a recommended course of action for its driver, and then broadcast that preference to the surrounding systems. The other systems would then evaluate each recommendation from each of the other systems with respect to its own drivers preference, and various recommendations would be discarded or promoted according to consensus on how well the recommendations fit each other. After enough promotion, each driver's system would make a suggestion to its driver such as 'lane change left' or '... right'. Supposing that the drivers then follow these suggestions, the drivers who want to go faster should end up in the leftmost lane, and the slower drivers in the rightmost (this is the USian version, of course).

Any single drivers preference might need to tend toward the middle setting after a given amount of time, so that everything would end up evening out eventually. The system would also need to have a way of figuring out how many lanes there are to be sorted, possibly by triangulation of the sources of other broadcasts.

The driving here is left to the actual users, and the systems are dependent on nothing other than the driver's preference and the other systems preferences.
-- absterge, Oct 11 2003

Flocking Road Cones http://www.halfbake...king_20Road_20Cones
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Well it sounds good but there is a speed limit in the US which is usually slower than what I would like to drive. But when I lived in Mexico City there were so many cars that it would have been impossible to coordinate that. The driving in the rush hour is very aggressive, if you don't throw the car and have the ability to zig zag through cars you are lost. The thing is lots of people are so slow to react that it would be a pain to coordinate speed lanes.
-- Aluxe, Oct 11 2003

This is complicated by exit lanes to the left, or speeders having to shift 4 lanes to the right to exit, but if the system accounts for that, no problem.
Advance lane/speed change assistance would be welcome. Like if traffic is virtually stopped 10 miles ahead, or if some lanes are closed. Maybe have a hollerin' version of Flocking Road Cones. "Hey, we're all out in the street up here!"

The Transportation Department could have input, to help un-snarl traffic jams, and keep things moving.
-- Amos Kito, Oct 11 2003

What [blissmiss] said.

What's wrong with slower traffic keep right (or left)?
-- phoenix, Oct 12 2003

Thank you for the welcomes. There isn't anything wrong with 'slower traffic keep right', but it seems all too common for drivers to just find a comfortable pocket in the far left lane and do 5 over (or under even, *exasperation*), when in fact the left lane is better suited for those who do 15+ (mph, of course).

As far as the entry/exit lanes issues, again, the actual driving is left to the users. If you want to go 'much faster' and you're in on an exit ramp, you'd probably get told to go back into traffic, but that wouldn't get you where you're going. You're also likely an idiot for trying to make other people do dangerous speed on an exit ramp.

Almost certainly those willing to invest in and operate at the discretion of such a system are the same ones who presume it would benefit them by letting them speed. The OAPers that take up good space at low speeds are probably not going to want to buy in.
-- absterge, Oct 12 2003

random, halfbakery