Term Project: Automobile Traffic Simulation

In this project, you will develop an integrated system in Racket that simulates and displays the movement of automobiles in a simulated road network. The final goal will be to evaluate and compare different traffic-light control mechanisms.

Computer simulations provide a powerful tool for understanding the behavior of complex systems. For better or worse, automobiles play a significant role in our lives and consume an inordinate fraction of resources. If we can find ways to improve the way traffic is managed in high-congestion settings we can save significant amounts of time, money, carbon emissions, just to name a few.

We will start with modeling a single car moving along a single straight road segment. Gradually, we will add complexity until we have many cars simultaneously navigating an urban street network that is managed by traffic lights at intersections. The project is divided into multiple parts, each one equally valued. Because each project deliverable builds on the previous ones, and because you cannot make up for a shoddy performance on the first deliverable with a stellar job on the final one, it is important that you gear up for this from the start.