Traveling on the Road

Team: 57

School: Sat Sci Math Acad

Area of Science: Social Science

Interim: Problem Definition:

There are many problems on the road including: traffic, safety issues, and fuel consumption. Due to these problems, events are missed and people can lose their jobs. In 2018, approximately 3,520 minutes, or 58.6 hours were spent a year at red lights. About 6 million car accidents occur a year, car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29. The average price of gasoline is around $2.50. If the driver plans to go a long distance or fill up the tank, that price will add up. These are problems on the road that we can manipulate computationally.

Problem Solution:

We plan to use the traffic grid model in NetLogo and a pathfinding algorithm to find the fastest and most cost efficient route. To lower the average waiting time at a red light, we plan to make the lights not only change on a set schedule but allow them to change based on the car’s position. For example, if I’m coming down a road and there are no cars in sight, I should just be allowed to keep going. If I am stopped by a red light then my trip is delayed and I may miss an important event. If the lights changed for practicality, this would not happen. We would also change acceleration and deceleration so that drivers would come to a softer stop (a real-world parallel would be reducing brake-wear reducing brake wear). We would reach our destination by using a pathfinding algorithm like A* which finds the fastest and cost-efficient path to a destination.

Progress to Date:

At the start, we only had one car on the road and we were trying to get it to a selected destination. This took a while because most of us are new to NetLogo and we had to research lots of algorithms ( In November, we learned what each variable is in NetLogo (Agent, Attribute, Function), and we brainstormed different variables that we could use in the project. We are not very far in our project because we could not come to a final decision of a project, but we plan to use this one and we plan to have all our code up and running by the end of the challenge.

Expected Results:

We expect to get multiple cars to their destinations by using “smart-lights” and start no traffic blocks. The traffic grid model has stats of the traffic (including the number of stopped cars, average speed of cars, and average wait time of cars) and we want to get those numbers as low as possible.


“NetLogo Dictionary.” NetLogo 6.1.1 User Manual: NetLogo Dictionary,
Crow, Sarah. “You'll Spend This Much of Your Life Waiting at Red Lights.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, 29 Sept. 2018,

Gasoline Prices Adjusted for Inflation. (2018, July 05). Retrieved December 01, 2020, from

Widmer, B. (2020, October 1). 50+ Car Accident Statistics in the U.S. & Worldwide. The Wandering RV.,-This%20section%20of&text=On%20average%2C%20there%20are%206,in%20automobile%20crashes%20per%20year.

P, Amit. “Introduction to A*.” Stanford,

Mentor: Wayne Witzel

Team Members:

  Isaac Rankin
  Mclight Emma-Asonye
  Kingsley Walker

Sponsoring Teacher: Caia Brown

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