Bayen weighs in on self-driving cars in U.S. News & World Report

Traffic in San Francisco.

Self-driving vehicles from General Motors called Cruise cars are causing traffic snarls on the streets of San Francisco.

Ironically, research by CITRIS PI Alexandre Bayen, UC Berkeley associate provost for Moffett Field program development and Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering, shows that when autonomous vehicles lead cars driven by humans, traffic flow should instead greatly improve.

A recent study by his team reported that when an automated car preceded human-controlled vehicles, stop-and-go traffic was eliminated and gas usage was reduced by nearly half.

Bayen and team are exploring whether autonomous vehicle technologies can, in fact, help to reduce “phantom” traffic jams — slowdowns with no apparent cause that are the result of human behavior.