An autonomous vehicle simulation platform built with Unity

Simulation is one of the most important tools to effectively and scalably advance the development of autonomous vehicles. Why? Because it allows engineers to quickly test and validate their algorithms, its cheaper and faster than testing with a real vehicle and a real driver, and most importantly it is safer to test changes in a virtual environment. This is why we previously introduced Dreamview in Apollo 1.0, a cloud-based simulation tool that allows for testing of planning and control algorithms. Now for Apollo 3.5 we are taking it a step further with the Apollo Game Engine Based Simulator, a tool specifically designed for Apollo's Perception Module.

Why does Perception require a simulation tool?

To validate and train Perception algorithms you need a ground truth measurement for what the system is perceiving; this includes the 3D position and boundaries of obstacles, vehicles, and lane markings. Traditionally, this data was generated by manually labeling images or laser scanning environments, but these methods are costly, time-consuming, and error-prone.
To solve these problems we have created the Apollo Game Engine Based Simulator. It provides a 3D virtual world where sensors can perceive and provide precise ground truth data for every piece of an environment. Because it is a virtual world you, the developer, have full control. With the click of a button, you can change the time of day, alter the degradation of the road, change the weather and road conditions, and much more! Last but not least, the Apollo game Engine Based Simulation integrates natively with the rest of the Apollo software stack. If you are already using the Apollo Platform, you can get started without any additional development work.

What's next?

This is just the beginning! More features will be released in the future, including:
  • Traffic simulation and scripting
  • Dynamic agents such as pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Support for the full suite of autonomous sensors from cameras to lidar to radar
  • Ego vehicle configurator
  • Scenario editing
  • And more!

What to get your hands on the tool? Sign up here to be a beta tester and receive notifications for the official release!