Traffic feels like an unavoidable menace. Even with a few vehicles on the road, small disturbances can create huge jams out of nowhere. This is primarily our own fault: if we could all simply drive at a constant speed at a reasonable distance from other vehicles, gridlock would be far less common.
But in the near future, autonomous cars could provide the answer. A self-driving car could automatically correct for our worst driving habits and smooth out the driving experience for everyone. But how many self-driving cars would we need? Would we need to replace all our human drivers with machines to save ourselves from traffic jams? Just most of them?
According to new research, our roads might only need to be as little as 5 percent robot.