Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

High-Tech War on Road Rage

PostedMay 15, 2004

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The physical answers to traffic seem easy.  Widen a road here, add a bridge there.  Then you factor in people, and realize it's not so predictable.  But soon bottleneck-induced "road rage" may be fought with technology developed for classified military applications.  Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have adapted software to predict an entire population's reactions to the smallest traffic details using census information.  That's right—they figure how you probably get to work, when you go to which store, and detours you likely take to your doctor's office if there's an accident ahead.  Combining that with everyone else in the area, civil engineers may more accurately estimate effects of new highways, subway lines, stop signs, and even forecast auto pollution.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.