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Last updated at 17:34 GMT, Friday, 22 March 2013

Global traffic jam

traffic jam, BBC image

What is the solution to the global traffic jam?

This year the BBC is looking into the future, in key areas of science, politics, education and our personal life in a series called What If? As part of this, 6 Minute English looks at the question: 'What if everyone had a car?'

There are already a billion cars in the world but what would be the consequences if there were even more vehicles on the road? Rob and Jennifer discuss what might happen and they talk about some designs for cars of the future.

We'll be hearing some driving-related words and phrases along the way.

This week's question:

In 2010, one of the world's longest jams occurred in Beijing in China. How long was it?

a) 50 kilometres

b) 100 kilometres

c) 200 kilometres

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.


Global traffic jam

End of Section


traffic jams

a queue of vehicles on a road that are not moving, or moving very slowly


a situation where there are so many vehicles on the road that none of them can move

a maelstrom

a situation that is confusing and chaotic

bumper to bumper

cars travelling close together and almost touching

to get behind the wheel

to start driving a car

the end of the road

a point where you cannot continue any further


using a lot of fuel