Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Follow Regular Commuter Routes Or Be Adventurous?

Date:
July 2, 2009
Source:
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Summary:
It’s the same dilemma every morning: do you take your usual route with its frequent traffic jams, or try to get to work faster by going cross-country? And do you listen to the advice from the traffic information service, or work it out yourself? Researchers found that although we appear to be stubborn creatures of habit, good traffic information makes us a bit more adventurous.

It's the same dilemma every morning: do you take your usual route with its frequent tailbacks, or try to get to work faster by going cross-country? And do you listen to the advice from the traffic information service, or work it out yourself? Dutch researcher Enide Bogers investigated what we actually learn from our own experience and what we do with all of the good advice we receive. Although we appear to be stubborn creatures of habit, good traffic information makes us a bit more adventurous.

Related Articles


Traffic expert Bogers investigated the extent to which people make their decisions on the basis of the information they receive. She found that the subjects who received a lot of traffic information en route opted more often for a route that was unreliable but fast. The subjects who received no information, on the other hand, opted more often for a reliable but slow route. So it cannot do any harm to switch on the car radio in the morning. The more traffic information the drivers in the study received, the more time they saved.

In her study, Bogers asked 2500 subjects to choose one of three possible routes on forty separate occasions. The first route was usually very fast (three days out of four) but sometimes extremely slow. The second route was very reliable but slow. On the third route, the journey time was completely random within certain limits. The provision of traffic information appeared to increase the attractiveness of unreliable routes (one and three).

Creatures of habit

However, Bogers examined not only the influence of the information provided, but also what the subjects learned from their experience during the experiment. Strikingly, the role of habitual behaviour became greater and greater. Even those who received a lot of information allowed their decisions, as time went by, to be increasingly determined by habit than by other things such as the information provided or their own acquired expectation in terms of journey time. Indeed, it seems that a poor journey time on a habitual route is rated better than a poor journey time on an alternative route. Many drivers are apparently not willing to accept that their favoured route may not always be the best one.

In addition, those travelling without traffic information based their expected journey time predominantly on their most recent experience. Those travelling with traffic information, however, took a much wider range of experiences into account in calculating their expected journey time.

Despite these ingrained habits, the use of traffic information still appears to hold many possibilities. Not only can it reduce individual journey times, but it can also ensure that routes which are normally seen as unreliable are used more often. Traffic information can therefore cut vehicle hours, resulting in less traffic and less environmental pollution.

AMICI

Enide Bogers' research is part of the AMICI programme (Advanced Multi-agent Information and Control for Integrated multi-class traffic networks), part of the NWO stimulation programme Traffic and Transport. The latter aims to develop and disseminate integrated knowledge geared to innovative and balanced traffic and transport solutions. This knowledge should lead to high-quality applied research in companies and government organisations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Follow Regular Commuter Routes Or Be Adventurous?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163527.htm>.
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). (2009, July 2). Follow Regular Commuter Routes Or Be Adventurous?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163527.htm
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Follow Regular Commuter Routes Or Be Adventurous?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163527.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

The Future Of Japanese Whaling: Heritage Vs. Conservation

Newsy (Mar. 30, 2015) — In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled Japan could no longer engage in whaling in the Antarctic, but Japan has plans to return this year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lights out for Earth Hour

Lights out for Earth Hour

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 29, 2015) — Landmarks in cities around the globe turn off their lights to mark Earth Hour. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins