Opportunistic Driving

In Sweden, most people drive according to the traffic regulations. We stick to one lane and when overtaking we go on the left side. Honking is seldom used, and hard shoulders are frowned upon. A red light means stopping, and if you are in a left turning lane, you go left.

This of course means that if you try to apply the same approach in Shanghai, you will not last a day. Not an hour in fact. Here cars always stray between lanes in order to find the quickest one, why it is impossible to predict the movements of the cars in front of you. Why in turn of course it is only natural to warn them about your own ambitions by using the horn or the lights. If you spot slow vehicles in the lanes turning right, you of course can go around them using the left turning lane if it is empty. Since it is sometime difficult to cross the wide streets with many lanes, it is also makes sense to expect bikes, motor bikes and pedestrians in the streets in all directions at the same time. Red lights are more of a recommendation, but the whistle-blowing policemen should always be taken seriously.

Given these different approaches to traffic, it makes me wonder to what extent we can export intelligent transport systems. What is intelligent behaviour in these circumstances? Maybe something for Telematics Valley to consider, but also the initiative made by the Swedish Road Administration to commercialise more of its intellectual property in cooperation with Innovationsbron: The Transport Business Booster. But I’m sure that since they are cooperating with international partners such as Ericsson, they will already have accounted for this.