I had an idea this weekend for an open source project that might be interesting and fun to work on, and I'm wondering if anybody else is interested...
OpenTraffic - A smart controller system for traffic lights.
The idea is to create software to control a scalable network of nodes (traffic intersections) and control the state of each node for the goal of vehicle energy efficiency. Taking sensor input from each node, it should adjust light patterns accordingly to accommodate traffic flows and reduce stopping/starting of vehicles as much as possible to enable a city-wide reduction in energy consumed by vehicles.
Anybody interested? Have any thoughts on the project?
I figure it's an interesting challenge in a few ways. First, it has to operate under real-time constraints. That presents a whole new set of challenges in software design that isn't often found in most programming. Scalability will be an interesting design concern, creates nodes that can self-organize at any scale based on information programmed into the node (location and directions of other nodes).
The hardest part is getting started, so if you're interested let me know so we can discuss how we want to approach this.