I am starting my Masters project which requires i build a motorway (freeway if your an American i believe ) simulator that will eventually read traffic data and simulate it in a 3d environment. I completed my undergraduate degree in comp sci using Java, and also done some comp graphics modules and VRML so i have chosen java for my project. At first the choice seemed simple enough, java + java3d + vrml loader. Now i have started seriously looking into it, that doesnt seem such a good idea. These is also very limited documentation on vrml with java 3d is seems.
At first i need to be able to have a UI that i can click a button to add a car to the simulation, moving at a fixed speed. I will also need collision detection. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, more so functional and accurate. I was thinking of having a plane with a satellite picture on and then adding some kind of trrack/path/route onto of the image of the roads on the plane to determine where traffic flows.
The more i think about it and read on here the more i think using one of the API's like LWJGL or jogl would be a better option. There is so many possible options I am confused as to what would be the best option to take .
What would you suggest would be the best way to tackle this project? Which apI would be best? Which environment? (i have only used plain text/blue j/net beans before).
My simulation has a lot of the characteristics of a game so i hope you don't mind me posing on here.