Let's go off-road!

AVL has integrated CARLA into their simulation toolchain for autonomous driving use cases in unpaved terrain

Posted by @MattRoweEAIF on April 21, 2023

CARLA is being widely used for the virtual testing of autonomous road vehicles with realistic environment simulation. But have you ever tried to use it for off-road applications such as agriculture, construction, or logistics?

AVL engineers have found a solution to enhance CARLA for simulation in unpaved, rough terrain. This has been achieved by coupling CARLA with the advanced vehicle dynamics software AVL VSMTM. With the AVL solution, the vehicle dynamics precisely interact with the surface based on a synchronization of all wheel contact positions. In combination with AVL’s soft-soil tire model, users can expect realistic driving behavior.

The two simulation tools are coupled using AVLs open co-simulation platform Model.CONNECTTM. With plug & play interfaces it is easy to connect the signal I/O ports of the tools with each other in a graphical user interface. The powerful co-simulation engine handles the correct synchronization of all tools and can even handle tools running with different frequencies.

In the concrete example of the autonomous tractor, the co-simulation setup was extended with a sensor fusion algorithm that outputs a unified list of detected objects as well as the automated driving control algorithm. The control loop is closed by updating the new vehicle position in CARLA and generating new sensor data.

AVL agreed to contribute their CARLA code changes and technical documentation to the CARLA project. Furthermore, AVL tools are available free of charge via the University Partnership Program. Stay tuned and contact us if you are interested at info@avl.com.