Traffic control learns lessons from leafcutter ants

leafcutter ants on the jobNature’s still got plenty to teach us, it seems. The latest target for researchers seeking to improve traffic congestion is the routing behaviour of leafcutter ants:

When opposing streams of leafcutter ants share a narrow path, they instinctively alternate flows in the most efficient way possible. Studying how ants manage this could provide the basis for a system of driverless cars running on ant traffic algorithms.

Driverless is probably the key word there… and there’s a short story just waiting to be written! One about an abandoned future-city with a tireless transit system of ant-AIs driving empty vehicles in ever-more efficient cycles. Sounds like a job for Paul Di Filippo, maybe. [image by MacAllenBrothers]

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