Monday, December 11, 2006

Road Rage

One advantage of working in animation for the architectural and engineering professions is exposure to topics that normal architects don't get exposed to. One of particular interest to me has been traffic flow, which I have found to be rather fascinating. It's basically fluid dynamics with the individual particles having specific behavior that can be quantified in a chaotic sense. Congestion results from all of the drivers behaving in cumulative ways - for instance a huge amount of freeway congestion is actually the result of drivers constantly changing lanes trying to avoid freeway congestion.

There is a fun German site, which I found, that simulates many of the most common sources of congestion. It's interactive, allowing you to change the parameters of the traffic, including how polite the drivers are. It seems that the Golden Rule is actually useful to alleviating much of the problem. A good thing to remember this holiday season as the stresses accumulate...