Research press release


Nature Communications

Physical modelling: On the road to less traffic



今回、Marta Gonzalez、Serdar Colakたちは、数百万人分の匿名の携帯電話データと地域的な道路ネットワークデータを照合して、5つの都市部(ボストン、サンフランシスコ湾岸地帯、リオデジャネイロ、リスボン、ポルト)における人々の移動効率を分析した。この研究では、交通のパターンがモデル化され、ドライバーが情報不足かつ非協調的な状態で(いわゆる「利己的に」)移動の選択をすると、都市部の交通が最適な状態にならないことが明らかになった。Gonzalezたちの推定によれば、交通渋滞による全体的な移動時間の無駄は、個別の移動経路の最適化によって平均で最大30%減らせるとされる。そのためには、少数のドライバーの移動経路を変えて個々の通勤時間を延ばして、交通渋滞の緩和を図る必要があると考えられる。


The collective travel time lost due to traffic congestion in urban areas could be reduced through optimization of individual travel routes, according to a model published in Nature Communications. The model confirms the notion that traffic congestion in cities is exacerbated by the choices of individual drivers who wish to minimize their travel time.

Although many municipalities in the world have made congestion reduction one of their priorities, increasing the number of roads is often insufficient or impractical, and therefore several initiatives - such as congestion charges, alternative travel modes, carpooling and road lane rationing - have been put in place to modify individuals’ behaviour in order to benefit the collectivity.

Using anonymous cell phone data from millions of people matched with local road network data, Marta Gonzalez, Serdar Colak and colleagues analyze how efficiently people move across five urban areas - Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon and Porto. They model traffic patterns and find that, when drivers make uncoordinated, uninformed (so-called ‘selfish’) travel choices, this results in suboptimal arrangement of traffic in a city. They estimate that the collective time lost due to congestion could be reduced up to 30% on average through optimization of individual travel routes. This would require a small number of drivers to sacrifice their individual commute time by driving on alternate routes in order to relieve congestion.

The authors caution that, although this model system relieves traffic congestion on the whole, average commuting travel time of individual drivers is reduced by only 1-3 minutes.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms10793

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