# Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is interesting, it suggests that ants are far better at managing traffic congestion than humans. They are able to move around their colony very efficiently and never get caught up in queues. In a study an "ant motorway" was set up with two routes of different widths. The ants used the routes to get from the nest to some sugar syrup. After a while the narrow route started to get congested. Researchers found that if an ant returning along a congested route collided with another ant just starting out it would push the new ant onto another less congested path. However, if the ant had experienced a trouble free journey it would not redirect the new ant and would carry on as normal. The result was that before the shortest route to the syrup became clogged the ants were diverted to a new rout meaning traffic jams never formed. Interesting, now how to do this with cars.

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