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Comment Re:Sure it does (Score 1) 107

Most university research groups do not have funds to buy bits of computing time here and there. For a project like this, the research group more likely has a dedicated computing cluster bought with grant money or sponsor money.

Comment Re:Some people fear guns like they fear bugs (Score 1) 746

Symbolic speech is all well and good, but the trigger-happy cop who mistakes you for a rifle-toting terrorist is going to shoot first and ask questions later. There's no reason to put yourself at risk by openly carrying around something that resembles a weapon unless you intend to use it.

Comment Questionable. (Score 1) 882

There are many fine traffic modeling journals out there. Physical Review E is not one of them. More telling is the lack of any references to any transportation journal articles regarding traffic flow models. While cellular automata approaches to modeling traffic flow have become increasingly popular in the last two decades, nothing in the abstract or citations leads me to believe they used an established traffic flow model.

Comment Re:how could it save... (Score 1) 411

they're not exactly fudging numbers

the FHWA puts out numbers valuing travel in terms of dollars. they do this for travel time and mileage, for both passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. how they get these numbers is questionable, but it's basically a combination of the money people earn from their jobs versus the length/duration of their commute. there are also breakdowns for different types of trips (work, shopping, leisure) and the length of the trip itself (a short trip has a different valuation per mile than a long one).

what the insurance people have done is to take these values and work them against the cost per mile of the variable-priced insurance policies and the average cost per mile of the fixed-price insurance policies. given some data on average trip lengths and distribution of trip purposes, you can build a monetization of travel under the two schemes.

the carbon savings comes from people driving less due to the higher cost of insurance relative to their valuation of their travel. if you're paying more for insurance because you drive to the liquor barn every other night to pick up a fifth of whiskey, you might think twice about obtaining such libation. saves money on liquor, too.

frankly, if this does go through in california and elsewhere, it could start to shift the USA away from suburbia hell back towards walkable town centers.

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