Featured Standard: ASAM OpenDRIVE®
The ASAM OpenDRIVE Standard provides a means to use the same road definition for both Cruden’s driving simulators and third-party engineering tools. This is particularly important for traffic simulations which receive ASAM OpenDRIVE layers from Cruden’s own 3D environments, as well as for Cruden’s ASAM OpenDRIVE-based ADAS Toolbox, which facilitates ADAS experiments with a human driver in the loop.
Cruden uses ASAM’s software libraries to support the implementation of ASAM OpenDRIVE. They reduce the effort needed to work with the standards immensely. They also reduce the level of inconsistencies between different implementations of the Standard by different companies.
The joint use of ASAM OpenDRIVE creates the flexibility to use different engineering tools, such as VIRES VTD or dSPACE ASM, around the driving simulator. This provides great benefits for both Cruden and its customers. The ability to integrate different tools results in cost and time savings in vehicle development.
It’s very difficult to create a Standard oneself that’s sufficient to work in all cases. So if one already exists, it makes sense to use it. The ASAM OpenDRIVE Standard gives us a platform that is well thought out and encompasses all the details that we will ever need.
Nico Kruithof, Computer Scientist
Cruden’s driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulators typically simulate vehicle dynamics, NVH performance, ADAS functions and other vehicle features in high-definition 3D environments that are created in-house. However, it is essential for our automotive customers to be able to integrate the DIL simulator with other Simulation tools. These might include VIRES VTD, the traffic Simulation tool for which Cruden first generated ASAM OpenDRIVE layers from its 3D environments, or dSPACE ASM, which can also run in co-Simulation with a Cruden driving simulator.
Audi and Volkswagen are among the OEMs for whom Cruden has integrated a driving simulator with the VIRES VTD traffic simulator.
This integration enables to develop ADAS functions or components in offline Simulation with specialized tools but also to test them in the immersive environment of a driving simulator, all on the same virtual roads.
To achieve this, Cruden creates an ASAM OpenDRIVE definition of the road network from the 3D virtual environment designed for highly immersive DIL Simulation. This ASAM OpenDRIVE layer is the foundation for the 3D environment that customers need to run in their preferred tool. They can then, for example, simulate traffic in their traffic Simulation tool of choice and pass information back to the Cruden simulator about the position, direction and speed of vehicles, so that traffic can also be shown with a driver onboard. By providing information of the ego-vehicle from the simulator, the traffic Simulation responds directly/naturally to the drivers input.
Cruden has additionally developed an ADAS Toolbox for its simulators, also based on ASAM OpenDRIVE definitions. This toolbox enables engineers or behavioural researchers to introduce basic models of new ADAS controllers to simulator experiments with human drivers in the loop.
Cruden was assisted in both creating and making use of ASAM OpenDRIVE layers with the help of ASAM’s software libraries. These libraries implement the specifications of the Standard. They make it practical to integrate or use road definitions defined by the ASAM standards into a Cruden DIL simulator. Using these libraries reduces the risk of different providers interpreting the Standard in a different way and having inconsistencies in the co-Simulation.
Cruden uses the software libraries e.g. to check on lane positions for developing lane assist algorithms. At first, driving on ASAM OpenDRIVE layers in the Cruden simulator was difficult as a human in the loop is less predictable than scripted driver behaviour in an offline Simulation, especially at intersections. The ASAM OpenDRIVE query was used both to query the road height and lateral position within the lane. When approaching a junction, the current lane splits in several lanes, one for each road. In a traffic Simulation, the path of the traffic vehicles through the road network is known and, at a junction, the correct lane can be selected to continue. However, from the input of the driver in the simulator, it is not immediately clear in which direction he/she will continue. With an incorrect lane, the lateral position in the lane, used for the lane assist algorithm, might be incorrect. The solution was to temporarily turn off the ADAS system when approaching a junction. When the driver leaves the intersection, the correct lane is detected and the lane assist routine is enabled again – much like what happens when a driver ignores the instructions of a car’s navigation system.
A further use case is Cruden’s integration with MathWorks (formerly VectorZero) RoadRunner, an interactive editor to design 3D scenes for simulating and testing automated driving systems. Since RoadRunner also generates ASAM OpenDRIVE layers, it is very easy to create scenes that work both in the Cruden software and the engineering tools integrated with the driving simulator.
It’s this flexibility in using different engineering tools around the driving simulator that provides the greatest benefit to Cruden and its customers. This is why Cruden has decided to rely on ASAM OpenDRIVE.
By embracing ASAM OpenDRIVE, Cruden can offer driving simulators that can be easily integrated with whichever engineering tools its customers want to use. If a customer decides to switch to a different engineering tool or implement an additional one for certain research or development work, it can do so with minimum effort.