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Autoware quick start demo problems

Hi all, I would like to open a discussion about the problems people are having with the quick start demo in autoware.ai. As mentioned in the Autoware TSC meeting it is important that users can have a positive and pain free experience downloading, installing and running Autoware with some example data (@Dejan_Pangercic your comments would be appreciated, as well as other TSC members and also members of the Autoware community)

I would like to clarify the problems people are having and develop some solutions so users have an acceptable experience, while considering the resource limitations as well as the planned move to autoware.auto (with test case development etc) which should design out these problems.

It is my understanding the current status of 1.11 that the relevant launch files for docker and source install are OK. The current(?) problems are that running the quick start demo does not always result in a successful execution of all nodes and observed behaviour is unpredictable (no map, missing transforms, ndt crashes). This would seem to be a node startup dependency issue. If there are other possible causes please comment.

Improved testing is being implemented for 1.12, but irrespective of the fix, should we be testing regularly to identify break downs (in launch files) - maybe automate setting up installation, and manual confirmation of execution? Suggestions as to the pros/cons of this are welcome.

To remedy/soften the timing problem my intial suggestions are:

  • quick fix: identify a minimal set of nodes to demonstrate autoware that reliably starts and limit quick start to that subset (maybe just playback data?).
  • medium term: change Quick start tab of ARM to start nodes (including simulator node) in correct order.
  • long term: identify node dependencies, determine at run time, if dependencies are met before starting, and implement testing regime to confirm this. This is perhaps what autoware.auto will do.

I would like to invite comments/suggestions from the community: comments on the cause, of the problem, and any suggestions about possible solutions, whether for short, medium or long term.