Autonomous Intersection Manger

Hi, I am a high school student with a little knowledge in programing, I have also not used any Arduino yet except UNO.
So I have this cool idea for the city science fair this year,

As we all know companies like Tesla and Mercedes are pushing technology to achieve a driverless future. But would we really need traffic lights to control driverless cars? That is what my project answers. So for the sake of simplicity I am planning to have a 2 lane infinty shaped track with 1 intersection in it. On this track I will have 4-6 line following robot cars moving around.
The intresting part is the intersection, as a car approaches the intersection. The car would communicate with a sever (my laptop for this case). The communication includes sending of parameters like time of arrival, and direction desired. And then my laptop would simulate that trajectry on a 2d map of the intersection. If there is no conflict, then the laptop will send a "GO" parameter to the car. If there is a conflict, eg. another car already going through. Then the computer will comand the car to stop and will respond with "GO" whenever conflict is resolved.

The problem is that I dont know what hardware is to be used for this. I have figured out the line following part with arduino uno and ir sensors, but I dont know how to have so many arduino have simultaneous serial connection with 1 PC. I would be really really helpful if someone would help me with this project. Thank you in advance. Cheers!

but I dont know how to have so many arduino have simultaneous serial connection with 1 PC.

The app on the PC will see one Arduino per serial connection, so the Arduinos won't have any problems.

The app, on the PC, on the other hand...

How will the data get from the Arduino to the PC? I can't see having cables running from each car to the PC.

But would we really need traffic lights to control driverless cars?

Maybe not, but they're useful to let the pedestrians know what's going on.

As a high school student, you may want to pay a little more attention to your spelling

PaulS:
The app on the PC will see one Arduino per serial connection, so the Arduinos won't have any problems.

The app, on the PC, on the other hand...

How will the data get from the Arduino to the PC? I can't see having cables running from each car to the PC.

Some sort of wireless network

Dhvyas:
The intresting part is the intersection, as a car approaches the intersection. The car would communicate with a sever (my laptop for this case). The communication includes sending of parameters like time of arrival, and direction desired. And then my laptop would simulate that trajectry on a 2d map of the intersection. If there is no conflict, then the laptop will send a "GO" parameter to the car. If there is a conflict, eg. another car already going through. Then the computer will comand the car to stop and will respond with "GO" whenever conflict is resolved.

It is certainly an interesting thing to explore.

Before starting to build a working system with model cars I think I would build a complete software model on a PC. If you can get that working then you could build the working system as a demonstration of it. I reckon trying to get something that complex to work (even with model cars) would be extraordinarily difficult unless you had already figured out all the traffic management issues. In a software model you could easily have dozens of cars, and trucks.

To be honest, just getting a system working in which a single model car could be controlled against a hypothetical car on the cross-route would be a major achievement and may be sufficient to demonstrate the concept. But I would still start with a software-only model.

And, by the way, the system should as far as possible never require a car to stop - only to slow down.

You might also consider an "intelligent" traffic-signal system that broadcasts to the cars how long it will be before the lights change.

My guess is that driverless cars will be designed in the first instance to work with existing colour-light traffic signals. Assuming they can do that it may not be worth the complexity and investment to build a significantly more advanced system. You also need to consider how the total system can cope with a major failure in part of the system without resulting in death, injuries or property damage.

...R

Some sort of wireless network

Ah, yes. But, what sort? Details matter.

Robin2:
It is certainly an interesting thing to explore.

...R

Dear Robin,
Thank you for bringing these issues to notice.
Yes, I am already aware of a few. Regarding the software based model. University of Texas A&M had done a research on the same and had published an open source simulator for the same.

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~aim/

Also regarding the point of having only one model car and the rest being simulated is great. I will surely do that. Should make the work easier.

Lastly, I know seeing such a small scale demonstration. It will not at all be efficient. Cars might have to stop and travel times might be same as with a traffic light in some cases. But that is not the point. I cannot have an efficient large scale project built at the movement. But this gives us hope as to what we should be expecting in the future.
Cheers!

PaulS:
Ah, yes. But, what sort? Details matter.

So far I have thought of using the arduino WiFi module or some other cheap alternative clone. This way I can have all the arduino uno connected to the laptop I believe.
Cheers

Dhvyas:
So far I have thought of using the arduino WiFi module or some other cheap alternative clone.

I can see two options - use ESP8266 WiFi devices with or without any Arduino (they have their own Microprocessor and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE) or use Arduinos with nRF24L01+ transceivers - which would probably require having an Arduino connected to your laptop to act as the base station. The base station could communicate with several "slave" devices in your cars.

I have very little experience of the ESP8266 but IMHO WiFi programming would be more complex than programming an Arduino with an nRF24.

This Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial should give you a flavour of how they are used.

I am using nRF24's to communicate between my PC and model trains. While the PC program is vastly different from yours I suspect the communication and Arduino programming would be very similar.

...R