Vanderbilt researchers hope AI can alleviate traffic jams

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Researchers at Vanderbilt University and other schools around the country are conducting an experiment in Nashville next week to try to decrease the number of stop-and-go traffic jams on a local interstate.

The new experiment will deploy up to 100 cars equipped with adaptive cruise control technology along a 4-mile stretch of Interstate 24 during morning rush hour, according to a news release from Vanderbilt. That stretch is outfitted with hundreds of ultra-high definition cameras that will give researchers a digital model of how every vehicle behaves.

Previous research has shown that a small percentage of artificial intelligence-equipped vehicles can go a long way toward alleviating the stop-and-go dynamic that often leads to traffic jams with no obvious cause. In addition to being frustrating, these jams waste fuel and increase pollution. The experiment next week will help researchers determine whether the traffic improvements from the smaller experiment can be replicated on a much larger scale.

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