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.

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 July 25, 2014 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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