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Why Don't Ants Get Stuck In Traffic?

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Viewers like you help make PBS (Thank you 😃) . Support your local PBS Member Station here: https://to.pbs.org/PBSDSDonate Go to http://Raceforretirement.com and see how the action gap affects you. Tweet this video ⇒ http://bit.ly/OKTBStraf Share on FB ⇒ http://bit.ly/OKTBStrafFB ↓ More info and sources below ↓ CGP Grey "The Simple Solution to Traffic" https://youtu.be/iHzzSao6ypE ASAPscience "How Not To Get Stuck In Traffic" https://youtu.be/APkpiO0QQ_k Book recommendation! "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do" by Tom Vanderbilt http://amzn.to/2durlGP References: INRIX 2015 traffic stats: http://inrix.com/scorecard/key-findings-us/ Couzin, Iain D., and Nigel R. Franks. "Self-organized lane formation and optimized traffic flow in army ants." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 270.1511 (2003): 139-146. Fourcassié, Vincent, Audrey Dussutour, and Jean-Louis Deneubourg. "Ant traffic rules." Journal of Experimental Biology 213.14 (2010): 2357-2363. Hönicke, C., P. Bliss, and R. F. A. Moritz. "Effect of density on traffic and velocity on trunk trails of Formica pratensis." The Science of Nature 102.3-4 (2015): 1-9. Larson, Richard C. "There's More to a Line than its Wait." Technology Review 91.5 (1988): 60-67. Maister, David H. The psychology of waiting lines. Harvard Business School, 1984. Perna, Andrea, et al. "Individual rules for trail pattern formation in Argentine ants (Linepithema humile)." PLoS Comput Biol 8.7 (2012): e1002592. ---------------- It's Okay To Be Smart is written and hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D. Have an idea for an episode or an amazing science question you want answered? Leave a comment or check us out at the links below! Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/itsokaytobesmart Twitter: http://twitter.com/okaytobesmart http://twitter.com/jtotheizzoe Tumblr: http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/jtotheizzoe Snapchat: YoDrJoe Produced by PBS Digital Studios Music via APM Stock images from SciencePhoto http://www.sciencephoto.com/ and Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com
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Text Comments (2033)
Adrian Sue (3 hours ago)
Ants are Constantly Jammed they're bumping into each other all the way They're just fast and twitchy so you don't notice Terrible comparison to Cars
David Perrier (1 day ago)
6% compounding interest? Where is that, my bank offers 0.2% interest at best.
The Mighty Jimmy (3 days ago)
Because they're smart.
Robert Thomas (6 days ago)
Ants can climb on each other
Ken Roberts (7 days ago)
oh ya, well id like to see an ant park a car
joe kickass (8 days ago)
So basically traffic would be a lot better if we were all communists. gotcha
Duece Lee Productions (9 days ago)
00:58 Scientists are looking to ants for human trafficking? 🤔
isla bond (10 days ago)
“You are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic” -slaves
isla bond (10 days ago)
“The average driver in London” oh sir, no sane person drives in London. Unless they’re taxi driver...
Rubble Abode (10 days ago)
Doesn't every ant having the same destination with the same goal, bringing food back to the colony, make the traffic congestion problem much easier to solve? What would happen if each ant had to return to a specific suburban home spread out around the city center. Wouldn't the returning ants constantly be cutting off the outgoing ants, creating congestion problems? What specifically can we learn from ants if the equation is so drastically different?
Mufaro Mandaza (11 days ago)
This guy is the future of YouTube
Titanic (11 days ago)
Tell your mom that ants are better with traffic then humans the next time she tries to kill some.
Remho (15 days ago)
NO ants doesnt have the limited lane
Tyler Berridge (15 days ago)
So we're not gonna note how the intro for this channel sounds like the beginning of the song American Boy?
OME Productions (16 days ago)
They are antastic drivers
Ryan Johnsonn (16 days ago)
the reasons why ants don't get in traffic is because the walk over each other I did a science
The Time Is Now (18 days ago)
That and they don't have stop lights.
Harsono Ng (21 days ago)
Are you talking about ant or car ?
William Bain (22 days ago)
Are ants eusocial
agentmew2 (24 days ago)
k2BSMRT licence plate.lol
Ü ñ k ń ø w ń ? (24 days ago)
Your bad
Ü ñ k ń ø w ń ? (24 days ago)
You are an ant
Luis Caldera (24 days ago)
Iam not a scientist but we all know most of the time humans are not bright as other form of live on earth. We are all idiots when we are full of ourselves
Matthew Meditz (29 days ago)
3:27 Traffic engineers are wrong. Setting an enforced speed limit is better. Traffic only moves at so many MPH. I sometimes never use my brakes in traffic.
James Isaac (30 days ago)
Actually that network will work wonders in high way at least.
Belmont79 (30 days ago)
Waze and Google Maps.
Jacobo Hernandez (1 month ago)
2:42 It’s ok to be smart
J G (1 month ago)
Because they don’t need to turn their heads to look at an accident, they have a bunch of eyes and can drive and look ahead and look at the accident at the same time
marinus18 (1 month ago)
With traffic though the most effective way is also the least popular and that is to limit the amount of traffic allowed to the maximum capacity of the road. Many people feel like it's unfair that they have to wait while people on the road a driving at the speed limit but adding a few more cars drastically slows it down. Also there are some things that can be done to speed highways up. One of them is longer and shallower in and out lanes. A shallower and more gentle curve means people will take them at faster speeds which in turn means they won't slow down while still on the highway.
Chyvorn Virakroth (1 month ago)
You did not explain why ants do not make traffic
Luky0805 (1 month ago)
You're calling your self smart but you wrote "dont" instead of "don't"...
Thomas Wright (1 month ago)
The size of our brains have nothing to do with why we have traffic jams. We've deviated so far from the natural order of energy, matter, time, and space allocation by throwing bottle-necks every where we can (yes, money is a massive bottle-neck when it comes to effective STEM [space, time, energy, matter] distribution) that we no longer work for collective interests, but ego-inflating selfish interests. It's not the complicated size of our brains, but the complications we've introduced out of primitive stupidity.
Paul PGAS (1 month ago)
Zinyo26 x Snowman (1 month ago)
Ai cars are better No cars Is sad I am sad Damn it
Maxi ?!? (1 month ago)
Yet collective I spend 3.45months per year ON OR WAITING FOR A BUS
Gacha girl 476 (1 month ago)
*reads title * because they don't have cars that answer is easy
Obed Esquivel (1 month ago)
4:40 😂👌🏻
Azcension Seven (1 month ago)
Working in a busy customer service environment that can sometimes be understaffed. We are all familiar with individuals from 2:28 - 3:22
JASMIN SALDANA (1 month ago)
Now I just want to watch ants all day. Also, this vid was just about cars not ants. Not I that love ants... I'm actually paranoid about them,,, I'm just saying
grumpy old fart (1 month ago)
Ants don't drive Priuses in the fast lane.
Kawaii Ninja (1 month ago)
Sometimes I wonder what cause a traffic, on my GPS it say traffic untimely 1 mile ahead, right after 1 mile, looks like nothing, no accident. My conclusion is 4 lanes 4 drives driving at same speed, scared driving a little left because the highway curve. Just Out of no where no more traffic.
TheFlyAmerica (1 month ago)
Let’s just ride big ants instead of self driving cars
Ehcko (1 month ago)
It's actually been proven that adding more lanes doesn't improve traffic.
MikeAW2010 (1 month ago)
1.1k people were watching this on their cell phone while behind the wheel in a traffic jam.
bronsco bronski (1 month ago)
Ants are naturally Collectivist - Communist Humans are naturally Individualist - Capitalist That's why communism sounds good in theory, but collapses in practice because it assumes humans think like ants. If you choose to ignore the individualist nature of man and force them into collectivism, you get disastrous results.
juice box (1 month ago)
Ants can crawl over each other.....Did you ever think about that Mr.Hurrypants?!
AliGoes Gacha (1 month ago)
John(sorry if this is not your name):Unless cpg grey make it first Me:okay
Slapper zero (1 month ago)
but ants dont own cars
C15 0001229684 (1 month ago)
the only thing of value i found in this was 4:03. thats pretty neat when you show it like that
Kenneth Powell (1 month ago)
I gotta get outta here....My wife is an ant, these anti-ant comments are triggering me! So stop it! RIGHT NOW!
Josh Monery (1 month ago)
Ants cant crash or go at 60 miles per hour
Peace World (1 month ago)
Ants don't have road construction or get pulled over by cops for speeding, or 80 year old who doesn't want to move at all or an 18 year old who thinks he is in a race track or people who text n drive or drink n drive or drive under the influence of drugs or guys who stare at a woman's butt and hit the car in front of em . So yeah ants are definitely better than us
DSS Singh (1 month ago)
Das sum commy stuff fam
Carlos Garza (1 month ago)
Ants have it easy. They just crawl over each other (you can see it in the video) they weigh only a few micrograms so collisions don't cause injuries. Ants carrying food also drop more phoramones so its natural the center path returning is stronger then the ants exploring for food which causes outward ants to travel to outer less defined lanes. Also while latemerging does improve accidents slightly it also increases risks of collisions as 2 cars are competing for the merged lane more so then a vechical that merges at a more relaxed less competitive time. Also don't forget ants blunder with their own pheramone based traffic problems as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHJjpxFUbLs
Carlos Garza (1 month ago)
sorry I meant to say late merging improves traffic speed it also increases fender bender probability.
Doug Cannon (1 month ago)
*City:* How do we fix traffic problems? *Thanos:* I got the solution! *_SNAPS FINGERS_*
Patrick94GSR (1 month ago)
4:40 that is the root cause of pretty much ALL traffic problems in the US especially, except for cases where an entire route becomes shut down and impassable. Even when a crash causes one lane to be blocked, all the "Me-Firsts" trying to merge over before the other guy, and all the other people tailgating those in front of them and then slamming on brakes, is what causes the traffic to pile up, far more than the one lane itself being blocked.
cesar db (2 months ago)
Sentient machines will certainly kill us all... better wait on the jam
Lightup Darkness (2 months ago)
Remove brakes problem solved for us
gaijinblow (2 months ago)
ants don’t drive vehicles that go 90mph
George Emil (2 months ago)
Cars use up nine times the space as pedestrians do but most of them have only one or two people in them. Plus cars are funnelled. Pedestrians usually aren't funnelled. BTW, I've played the passing/being passed game. The number of cars I pass is equal to the number of cars that passes me - until we all get moving again. Then we stop counting.
Walker Adair (2 months ago)
Ants just crash into each other and then move away. If we did that cars would be destroyed lol
Starhearts (2 months ago)
too many people driving cars doing different things at the same time is a larger contributing factor i think. think about it you have a skyscraper with 30 floors and a bunch of people that need to get to that building to go to work. then you have other buildings with the same problem. all those people trying to get to their buildings for a 9-5 job and boom traffic jams.
Bas Doot (2 months ago)
We need to make giant ants so we can sit on their backs.
howmanymicsss (2 months ago)
what film was that clip at the beginning :)
Beamy Beams (2 months ago)
becus they dont text and drive
I Am Groot (2 months ago)
We need interchangeable highway lanes that switch the direction of traffic in a lane depending on the traffic pattern.
018marco (2 months ago)
You´re not stuck in traffic YOU ARE THE TRAFFIC
Kittycat 6762 (2 months ago)
God I’m getting the creeps
xandercorp (2 months ago)
You're confusing human traffic and car traffic. Intentional?
Mandar Kumbhar (2 months ago)
Can anyone explain 3:30
M G Gundersen (2 months ago)
Pollution ?
Rachel Rich (2 months ago)
Because ants are not cars.
nakwada (2 months ago)
One solution could be to have interconnected cars. Which is kind of the case already with real time gps that recalculate better interary according to current traffic. Mixed withg eneralized AV, I bet it would work better than digging underground tunnels x)
klintjohn cagot (2 months ago)
Zulfa Hadi Saad (2 months ago)
Ants are selfless
bestamerica (2 months ago)
' oh no... what wrong with lousy computer edit animation at 006 to 007... why this computer video quick shake... ants are more freedom crawlers and doesnt needs the drivers anywhere... vehicles are not freedom and musts has drivers... ants as insects = vehicles as machines
konseptgrokker (2 months ago)
It's not our "ego" it's our slow reactions. Ants don't have traffic jams because they can climb over each other. This means that the speed of one ant doesn't slow down the rest. Cut your collectivist crap.
Liam Walker (2 months ago)
Still Do Not want autonomous cars f**k that but then am a die hard car fan
James Woodfurd (2 months ago)
Everyone. This is not true. I personally own an ant farm and I know, if there is a person infront of them. They just climb over each other. It's their way of "traffic"
Michael Thomas (2 months ago)
Ants don't drive vehicles for Christ sake! You don't find a traffic jam while walking on the sidewalk.
Sippin Water (2 months ago)
I’m more interested in why humans get stuck in traffic
Flawrence Isenhart (2 months ago)
ants is united by single purpose, humans? nahhh multiple attitudes thats why if you want to get traffic off, remove humans . hahaha
NoesisAndNoema (2 months ago)
1: No roads (Drive anywhere you can reach.) 2: No traffic laws (Yield for no one. Speeding welcome.) 3: They move 1/1000th our driving speed. (Snails don't have traffic-jams either... Only vehicles do.)
Azzon Fire (2 months ago)
they got six legs man... we got two. LOL
Steven Ta (2 months ago)
If car can climb on top off each other we won’t have traffic
AJ Ajoya (2 months ago)
3:58 NOT in the Philippines bruh.
RevealtheReal (2 months ago)
Traffic can be SOLVED! Since you didn’t have any solutions here’s one: Back off each other’s ass! Drive as you would normally 2-3 car lengths away. You’re welcome and your brakes skill thank me!
Ed Moritz (2 months ago)
So how would that be implemented in actual roads? Determine what cars are going home or are carrying boxes and let them drive in the middle?
dingusbutt (2 months ago)
why dont we just get rid of road lines and let everyone choose where they want to drive on one big empty road can't possibly go wrong
Natalino Mella (2 months ago)
Ants don't have speed like cars.. except you make all cars have the same max speed like 30km/hours. Than problems solved
Marcos Marc (2 months ago)
Lane speed can be faster if you’re lane is the one that’s not blocked
Asim Ramay (2 months ago)
cause ants understand the importance of good infrastructure and foresight, unlike politicians
serpentscientist (2 months ago)
Ants are much more maneuverable than cars. ants can bump into each other without damage. Ants are socialists too.
j. jimenez (2 months ago)
I have an idea that will end traffic forever, no cars.
MrXanthios (2 months ago)
So the solution to traffic is to lobotomize everyone and make them a simple organism.
CobblesMiner (2 months ago)
ants don't cause traffic because when ants run into eachother they don't *die* or *catch on fire*
Drew M (2 months ago)
I personally think the self driving cars will be more of a problem than a solution. By the time everyone is able to afford them they'll probably be obsolete. Having efficient subway/train systems would probably be best. I'm okay with letting a computer make pre programmed stops, but driving has too many variables.
Sharmishtha Basu (2 months ago)
We have free will :) mother of chaos and invention.
Gavin Su (2 months ago)
My question is, how the **** do the people at the front get so slow?Just ****ing move!
Brian Orr (2 months ago)
Very informative and well presented! Interesting the ants form a middle lane and two edges lanes.