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Simulation software requirements



We would like to kickstart a discussion around simulation requirements for users of Autoware. While my team specifically is working on LGSVL Simulator, a more general discussion on simulation software needs and requirements for Autoware users can hopefully begin a useful conversation around how developers are currently using Autoware and what they are lacking. What do you need in a simulator for Autoware? What do you feel is missing with current solutions? What are some specific requirements in a simulator for your use case?


A few things off the top of my head that I think we need from one or more simulators. I say “one or more” because it’s likely that different simulators will be better at different things.

  • Deterministic execution. When executing deterministically, the same starting conditions should give exactly the same results.
  • Ability to control the simulation step (pause, step forwards a specific time, step forwards one loop of the control algorithms, run faster than 1:1 time, etc.).
  • Headless mode for running as part of a CI pipeline.
  • Modular framework (links to the above requirement, but broader). We need to be able to do things like plug in different pedestrian simulation algorithms, different sensor simulation models (even for the same sensor types), and so on.
  • Fault simulation in all parts of the car, from wheels to engine to sensors.
  • Sensor noise and interference simulation.
  • Simulation of different times of day and different weather conditions, including their impact on road conditions and thus the response of the car to control.


@bshin-lge we looked at this extensively couple of months back and we also talked to lots of simulation companies and none could really full-fill what we were asking for.

In short these would be our prioritized requests:

The entire, non-prioritized list would be as follows:

  • Computer hardware requirements for simulation should be listed
  • Interfaces (mocks) supported by simulation (CAN, ethernet, …)
  • Crisply defined software APIs
  • Support/integration for ROS. Here I would like to point to this discussion that we already had with LG guys and I felt that our opinion was not really taken seriously.
  • Fidelity of sensor models
    • E.g. do you accurately model different surface reflectivity/absorptivity, incidence angle, etc…
  • How to create our own sensor models?
  • Map formats supported
  • Maps that come with it?
  • How to include our own maps?
  • Precision/ real-time capabilities in general
  • Use for stress testing, e.g. an extremely high sensor load (>10 cameras, >10 lidars, etc) in realtime, precision/ real-time capabilities/guarantees during stress testing
  • Can simulation run in faster than real time?
  • How is the behavior of other cars governed in simulation?
    • Are there API’s/plugins that we can define to modify this behavior
  • How are traffic scenarios generated?
  • Is there any randomness in the simulations?
    • If yes, can we specify sources of randomness?
  • Is there collision detection?
  • Can simulation run in a headless state?
    • E.g. Can it run without a GUI?
  • Can we programmatically access the simulation state?
    • Or do we have to interact via filesystem (e.g. xml)
  • Are car dynamics simulated?
    • E.g. suspension, slip etc…
  • Can the simulator be integrated with the CI runner and does it output simulation/test results in e.g. junit format for test result validation?


Headless mode, logger (if the accident happens in the simulator, the logger logs this situation) and scenario mode is necessary for running simulation in CI.
I want to use simulator for CI.


CARLA hits several of the requirements that we need.


Here’s another one for when simulating light-based sensors: simulating things like sun glare behind a traffic light or a bright reflection from a glass pane into a camera for an instant.