Save Gas and Drive Time With the Power of Numbers

By collecting data for over a year and analyzing the results, Brandon Hansen was able to reduce his drive time by 30 hours a year.

Here’s how he did it.

He found, for one, “whether or not the local school district was in session proved to be the greatest measured variable in explaining the morning commute time variation.”

In the end, instead of leaving home at 8am and leaving work at 5:30pm, he could save the most time by changing that to 8:30am and 6:00pm.

Don’t be shy, the paper looks daunting but if you actually read it instead of the skim job the blogoagogorama thrives on, it’s pretty understandable.

Beating Traffic” [OmniNerd via Digg]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Grady says:

    That’s awesome. People say traffic has gotten worse in Houston since the hurricanes last year. I wonder if he’s going to take more data now to see.

  2. ValkRaider says:

    This is stupid.

    So some genius with SAS/SPSS figures out that by driving when there is less traffic he can save time. THANKS!

    Additionally his analisys is flawed. For him to compare seasonal, monthly, or daily commute times he would need to leave at the *same time* for each period. As he performed the tests he can’t say that the times changed because it was April or they changed because he left 10 minutes earlier or they changed because school was in session.

    In order to have a good test you would either need to leave at the same time and take the same route for the whole year, then compare the data and repeat for each time you adjusted start times… Additionally, there was no allowance for construction or closures. And if you stretched the analisys over multiple years it would possibly be innacurate due to population changes, demographic changes, or development or traffic rerouting.

    The only way you could really perform a detailed analisys would be to have multiple participants all travelling the same route at different times of day, and then compare their times over the course of a year – and THEN make the connections with the factors like schools in session or month or season, etc etc…

    It didn’t take me a year and a statistics class to figure out that if I leave work at 5:00 I get stuck in traffic but if I leave work at 4 or 6 I don’t.

  3. Diane Ensey says:

    So, he probably spent, what…30, 40, 50 hours collecting and analyzing this data? That will need to be updated as the data changes? I’d rather pop in a book-on-cd and just drive.

  4. OkiMike says:

    Of course his work may be worth it if it saves everyone else time in their commutes.