The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B4-2021
30 Jun 2021
 | 30 Jun 2021


M. Barsi and A. Barsi

Keywords: self-driving car, HD-map, OpenDRIVE standard, software development

Abstract. The development of self-driving vehicles has been efficiently accelerated by applying computer simulations. These environments can achieve the best result only if reality has been digitized: highly accurate and detailed maps are required. The high-definition (HD) maps aim to fulfill these requests. Companies and academia are seeking adequate technology, where OpenDRIVE standard seems to win this race.

A software was developed to create high-definition road models for self-driving car testing purposes, which can also be used in driving simulators, for example, for testing vehicle prototypes.

The data of a sample area was received located in northern Budapest, which included inconsistent information about the lanes of the road network. The top-priority task was to build a highly structured, consistent model satisfying this open standard, an increasingly popular modeling format to describe the environment for various simulating software. In order to do that, the relevant information had to be extracted from an AutoCAD file. The result was a collection of points that was added to a software module written in C++. The code has built a structure from those points, including determining connections between lanes, building roads from the lanes, determining connections between roads, adding road marks, and building the final OpenDRIVE model.

Two different sets of data have been used thus far in the software: a circa 8 km long road section and a separate junction – meaning about 20,000 points to process. Two independent models were created; both were tested in various automotive simulators – including IPG CarMaker, probably the most well-known simulating tool used in car manufacturing – which showed that both are indeed correct. The overall time required to build those models from simple text files to well-structured OpenDRIVE models is no more than two minutes, while before the software development – when all of those aforementioned processes were done by humans – it required several weeks, if not months.

The software is already capable of building basic road models but is nowhere near finished. Numerous other features can be added to it as well, for instance, traffic signs and signals and environmental elements such as roadside objects, trees, and buildings.