Create Actor and Vehicle Trajectories

This example shows how to create actor and vehicle trajectories for a driving scenario using Automated Driving Toolbox™ functions. To create actor and vehicle trajectories interactively instead, use the Driving Scenario Designer app.

Actors and Vehicles

Actors in a driving scenario are defined as cuboid objects with a specific length, width, and height. Actors also have a radar cross section (specified in dBsm) which can be refined by defining angular coordinates (azimuth and elevation). An actor's position is defined as the center of the bottom face. This point is used as the point of contact of the actor with the ground, as well as the actor's rotational center.

A vehicle is a special kind of actor that moves on wheels. Vehicles possess three extra properties that govern the placement of the front and rear axle. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles. The front overhang is the amount of distance between the front of the vehicle and the front axle; conversely, the rear overhang is the distance between the rear axle and the rear of the vehicle.

Unlike actors, the vehicle's position is placed on the ground at the center of the rear axle. This corresponds to the vehicle's natural center of rotation.

A typical list of actors and their corresponding dimensions appears below:

The following example plots the position of an actor with the dimensions of a typical human and a vehicle in the scenario at positions (0,2) and (0,-2), respectively:

scenario = drivingScenario;
a = actor(scenario,'ClassID',1,'Length',0.24,'Width',0.45,'Height',1.7);
passingCar = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);
a.Position = [0 2 0]
passingCar.Position = [0 -2 0]
ylim([-4 4])
a = 

  Actor with properties:

               ActorID: 1
               ClassID: 1
             PlotColor: [0 0.4470 0.7410]
              Position: [0 2 0]
              Velocity: [0 0 0]
                   Yaw: 0
                 Pitch: 0
                  Roll: 0
       AngularVelocity: [0 0 0]
                Length: 0.2400
                 Width: 0.4500
                Height: 1.7000
                  Mesh: [1x1 extendedObjectMesh]
            RCSPattern: [2x2 double]
      RCSAzimuthAngles: [-180 180]
    RCSElevationAngles: [-90 90]

passingCar = 

  Vehicle with properties:

               ActorID: 2
               ClassID: 1
             PlotColor: [0.8500 0.3250 0.0980]
              Position: [0 -2 0]
              Velocity: [0 0 0]
                   Yaw: 0
                 Pitch: 0
                  Roll: 0
       AngularVelocity: [0 0 0]
                Length: 4.7000
                 Width: 1.8000
                Height: 1.4000
                  Mesh: [1x1 extendedObjectMesh]
            RCSPattern: [2x2 double]
      RCSAzimuthAngles: [-180 180]
    RCSElevationAngles: [-90 90]
         FrontOverhang: 0.9000
          RearOverhang: 1
             Wheelbase: 2.8000

By default, the scenario plot will show the actors from an overhead view. To change this view, the scenario plot can be manipulated either by using the Camera Toolbar available in the View menu of the plot, or programmatically via the use of plot command line interfaces like xlim, ylim, zlim, and view. This allows you to qualitatively compare the relative heights of the actors.

zlim([0 4]);

Defining Trajectories

You can instruct actors (including vehicles) to follow a path along a set of waypoints at a set of given speeds. When you specify the waypoints, a piecewise clothoid curve is fit in between each segment, where curvature is preserved in between points. Clothoid curves are used because they have a curvature that varies linearly with distance traveled, which makes a very simple path for drivers to navigate when traveling at constant velocity.

By default, actor trajectories will have no curvature at the endpoints. To complete a loop, repeat the first and last point.

To follow the entire path at a constant velocity, specify the velocity as a scalar value.

The vehicles rotational center pass through the curve between waypoints. Therefore, to accommodate the length of the vehicle in front of and behind the rear axle during simulation, you can offset the beginning and ending waypoints. Offsetting these waypoints ensures that the vehicle fits completely within the road at its endpoints.

If the vehicle needs to turn quickly to avoid an obstacle, place two points close together in the intended direction of travel. This example shows a vehicle turning quickly at two places, but otherwise steering normally.

scenario = drivingScenario;
road(scenario, [0 0; 10 0; 53 -20],'lanes',lanespec(2));
idleCar = vehicle(scenario,'Position',[25 -5.5 0],'Yaw',-22);

passingCar = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);
waypoints = [1 -1.5; 16.36 -2.5; 17.35 -2.765; 23.83 -2.01; 24.9 -2.4; 50.5 -16.7];
velocity = 15;
trajectory(passingCar, waypoints, velocity);

Turning and Braking at Intersections

For sharp turns, define waypoints close together at the start and end of the turn. That way, the sudden change in steering can be rendered faithfully.

In the example below, you can see the trajectory that a vehicle takes when making a left turn. A pair of control points are used at the beginning and end of the turn that define a short segment that allows for a quick change in the steering direction of the vehicle.

To instruct vehicles to follow curves of piecewise constant acceleration, specify the velocities at each waypoint. In this example below, the vehicle decelerates from a speed of 20 m/s and comes to a brief complete stop at location (-7, -1.5). The vehicle then gradually accelerates back to its original speed:

scenario = drivingScenario;
road(scenario, [0 -25; 0  25],'lanes',lanespec([1 1]));
road(scenario, [-25 0; 25 0],'lanes',lanespec([1 1]));

passingCar = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);

% take transpose so waypoints align with velocities
waypoints = [-24.0 -7.0 -3.5  -3.0  1.5  1.5  1.5
              -1.5 -1.5 -1.5  -1.5  3.0  3.5 21.0]';
velocities = [20.0  0.0  5.0   5.0 10.0 12.0 20.0];


Moving the Vehicles

Once all the roads, actors, and actor trajectories are defined, you can incrementally increment the position of each actor by calling the advance function on the driving scenario in a loop:

while advance(scenario)

Next Steps

This example showed how to create actor and vehicle trajectories for a driving scenario using a drivingScenario object. To simulate, visualize, or modify this driving scenario in an interactive environment, try importing the drivingScenario object into the Driving Scenario Designer app:


See Also




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