Mesmerizing: Traffic Flow Measured On 30 Different Simulations Of 4-Way Junctions

December 14, 2017

These are 30 different traffic flow simulations constructed in city-building game Cities: Skylines. They start at the most basic, a rather terrifying four-lane intersection with no stoplights and a traffic flow of 191 vehicles per minute, and keep getting increasingly more efficient (for the most part, there is an 8 vehicles per minute basic roundabout), all the way up to a stacked interchange with 2-lane on-ramps and a traffic flow of 1,099 vehicles per minute. I learned a lot by watching it. Mostly, that I was expecting way more accidents and was disappointed when there weren't any. Still, if you were building a city, which intersections would you go with? "Depends on the specific need." I wouldn't go with any, and I'd spend all the money we saved not building dumbass roads to buy every citizen a jetpack. Now doesn't that sound like a place you'd like to live? "Kinda." Awesome, now I just need your help overthrowing a mayor. Preferably somewhere tropical yearround.

Keep going for the video.

  • Is it wrong that I found these not only beautiful but mildly sexually arousing?

  • logiclaser5000

    Self driving cars. Traffic flow: IT'S OVER 9000!!!

  • Captain Matticus, LP Inc.

    Very cool to watch and obviously a good tool for simulations, but there are a few problems I saw.

    1) Little to no accordion effect. Every car in a line seems to know when it's time to go and when it's time to stop.
    2) Every vehicle seems to accelerate and brake at the same rates. I don't know what world they live on, but semis kind of suck when it comes to accelerating.
    3) The hit mechanics really need some help. There are numerous instances where there should be a dozen car pile-up just in the first minute alone. There were vehicles passing through each other. I suspect that the vehicles are either represented with points or with a line (to describe the orientation of the image).

    Still, it's better than anything I've ever made, so maybe I should just quit my bitchin'.

  • JJtoob

    As a non expert (I mean me), I consider your bitching valid.

  • this is a perfectly realistic simulation, including the ability for cars to drive through other cars.

  • Andyman7714

    I saw that, WTF?

  • The_Wretched

    Also needs maintenance and upkeep costs (especially in cold areas). Some of those bridges with counter intuitive directions would incur extra drive time from people taking the wrong choice.

  • WhiteEagle2

    I'm pretty sure that Turbo Roundabout would result in about 80 accidents a day.

  • Mark

    45 seconds goes under a (green) tractor trailer

  • bluecheesedressing

    The “Diverging diamond” computer simulation removes the real world panic breaking that comes from drivers who have rarely, if ever, experienced the confusion resulting from driving suddenly on the “wrong” side of the road.

    This is exacerbated when the divergence occurs directly under a traditional highway overpass (with its concrete structures and K rails). I’ve never seen one created over the interstate in a tunneled underpass as depicted.

    Every-time I see an existing intersection converted I cringe at the congestion, wasted resources, and long term inefficiency created by some half-wit, snake oil selling Civ-E who has bamboozled the local DOT and bureaucrats with one of these monstrosities (however, theoretically sound and modeled they may be)!

  • The_Wretched

    Better said than I would have. But yeah, some of those intersections have better flow but only if all your drivers are fearless robots. They need to add in modeling for 'sub optimal responses.' Then count the accident rate as well as flow.

  • Bling Nye

    'sub optimal responses' hahaha, I like that, sounds a lot more scientific than 'fucking moron drivers screaming JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL'

  • Bling Nye

    They should really, really add fucking moron drivers to these simulations, have like 1 in 1,000 or 10,000 cars just completely fucking panic-mode entering the intersection screaming JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL, and see what it does to flow and congestion... Interesting too then to consider just how long after an incident is cleared the traffic can still be completely snarled, talking hours for some roads/intersections.

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