Swarm intelligence: From smart cars to smart traffic
Self-driving vehicles are set to develop a bee-like swarm intelligence
The 1978 cult horror movie, The Swarm, told how millions of killer bees threatened to wipe out the human race. Almost 40 years on, a new swarm could be its saving — intelligent cars. The world is urbanising at an alarming rate. The UN reckons that, around the world, city populations will grow by 1.1-billion between now and 2030. Africa’s cities, says business consultancy McKinsey, will be home to an additional 24-million inhabitants every year between now and 2045. The potential for chaos is huge: not just from people, but also from vehicles. Cities already choking with exhaust fumes and traffic can’t cope with more. That’s where the swarms come in: thousands of cars "thinking" together to find a common solution. Most of the automotive headlines in recent times have been about autonomous, self-driving cars. But that’s no good if they simply replace human-operated ones. Cities need fewer vehicles — and smarter ones. Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, known as V2I, enables cars to ...