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We examine the Nagel-Schreckenberg traffic model for a variety of maximum speeds. We show that the low-density limit can be described as a dilute gas of vehicles with a repulsive core. At the transition to jamming, we observe finite-size effects in a variety of quantities describing the flow and the density correlations, but only if the maximum speed Vmax is larger than a certain value. A finite-size scaling analysis of several order parameters shows universal behavior, with scaling exponents that depend on Vmax. The jamming transition at large Vmax can be viewed as the nucleation of jams in a background of freely flowing vehicles. For small Vmax no such clean separation into jammed and free vehicles is possible.

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Physical Review E