Self-driving cars themselves can solve traffic problems even without global control.

Traffic flow instabilities (such as stop-and-go traffic and "phantom traffic jams") can be suppressed using "bilateral control". We are studying how best to implement bilateral control and make it acceptable to drivers. We need to determine what fraction of vehicles need to implement bilateral control before significant benefit can be observed. This is so that we can understand the transition to a world where every vehicle implements bilateral control. To better understand the dynamics of traffic under bilateral control, we are building macroscopic models (densities and flow rates) on top of the underlying microscopic interactions (vehicle to vehicle).In order to demonstrate the potential improvement in safety we are also deriving conditions that will guarantee that there will be no collisions.