Okay, so we know following an alternate route on a GPS system like Google Maps can help us get to our destination quicker, partly by taking traffic into account.
But does it actually help traffic congestion overall during major event, like sporting matches? We ask the question, science has the answer.
To find out what kinds of routing strategies work “for the greater good”, researchers at MIT modelled the effects of large events on traffic – using the Rio Olympics as an example.
What they found was that while following alternative routes can save more travel time than sticking to the regular routes in these times (obvious, they say – do it), it doesn’t make that much of a difference during for overall traffic during larger events – mainly due to the additional tourist traffic. You should still do it if you are insisting on driving, but the real solution is public transport.
“If even a small number of people switch from driving to public transport, the collective travel time is reduced by a huge amount,” the researchers say.