Traffic is excruciating. Getting stuck in gridlock on your morning commute like Peter in Office Space—with all of the stop-and-go and elderly gentlemen crutching their way past you—is a surefire way to quickly go insane and start banging at the steering wheel like a frustrated monkey. Speaking of frustrated driver monkeys, YouTuber CGP Grey says that’s exactly what we are while we’re on the road, and that’s exactly the source of all that painful traffic. It’s a maddening cycle, and the solution, as always, is more robots.
For his latest video, CGP Grey—the always-insightful entertainer and educator who’s made videos about everything from how to make viral internet content to the problem with Star Trek transporters—has turned his analytical mind on to traffic, the tedious horror that plagues just about every major city on Earth.
In the video, Grey discusses the myriad ways in which humans do a lousy job of piloting motor vehicles, including: bad reaction times, poor coordination amongst drivers, and people who cut off other drivers while speeding above the flow of traffic. (You may know that last group of drivers by your own favorite NSFW word.)
Grey talks about how these problems cause anomalies such as “traffic snakes,” which can cause mind-numbing slowdowns in traffic even when there aren’t intersections to throw people off their game.
The two solutions offered in the video are for frustrated monkey drivers (people!) to “stay the same distance from the car ahead as from the car behind,” while on the freeway, and to pay better attention while at intersections—in other words, be more attentive and courteous drivers. The other solution, since the first one definitely isn’t going to happen, is to replace the monkey drivers with robot drivers, a.k.a. self-driving cars; a task that Tesla, Apple, Uber, and seemingly every other major tech company is interested in.
But until we meat sacks are replaced by Johnny Cabs, please, for the love of reasonable commute times, keep your distance between cars and don’t cut people off. And for the love of sharing your brilliant thoughts on this video, let us know what you think in the comments below!
Images: CGP Grey