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Create driving scenario


The drivingScenario object represents a 3-D arena containing roads, parking lots, vehicles, pedestrians, barriers, and other aspects of a driving scenario. Use this object to model realistic traffic scenarios and to generate synthetic detections for testing controllers or sensor fusion algorithms.

  • To add roads, use the road function. To specify lanes in the roads, create a lanespec object. You can also import roads from a third-party road network by using the roadNetwork function.

  • To add parking lots, use the parkingLot function.

  • To add actors (cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and so on), use the actor function. To add actors with properties designed specifically for vehicles, use the vehicle function. To add barriers, use the barrier function. All actors, including vehicles and barriers, are modeled as cuboids (box shapes) with unique actor IDs.

  • To simulate a scenario, call the advance function in a loop, which advances the simulation one time step at a time.

You can also create driving scenarios interactively by using the Driving Scenario Designer app. In addition, you can export drivingScenario objects from the app to produce scenario variations for use in either the app or in Simulink®. For more details, see Create Driving Scenario Variations Programmatically.




scenario = drivingScenario creates an empty driving scenario.


scenario = drivingScenario(Name,Value) sets the SampleTime, StopTime, and GeoReference properties using name-value pairs. For example, drivingScenario('GeoReference',[42.3 -71.0 0]) sets the geographic origin of the scene to a latitude-longitude coordinate of (42.3, –71.0) and an altitude of 0.


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Time interval between scenario simulation steps, specified as a positive real scalar. Units are in seconds.

Example: 1.5

End time of simulation, specified as a positive real scalar. Units are in seconds. The default StopTime of Inf causes the simulation to end when the first actor reaches the end of its trajectory.

Example: 60.0

This property is read-only.

Current time of the simulation, specified as a nonnegative real scalar. To reset the time to zero, call the restart function. Units are in seconds.

This property is read-only.

Simulation state, specified as true or false. If the simulation is running, IsRunning is true.

This property is read-only.

Actors and vehicles contained in the scenario, specified as a heterogeneous array of Actor and Vehicle objects. To add actors and vehicles to a driving scenario, use the actor and vehicle functions.

This property is read-only.

Barriers contained in the scenario, specified as a heterogeneous array of Barrier objects. To add barriers to a driving scenario, use the barrier function.

This property is read-only.

Parking lots contained in the scenario, specified as a heterogeneous array of ParkingLot objects. To add parking lots to a driving scenario, use the parkingLot function.

This property is read-only.

Geographic coordinates of the road network origin, specified as a three-element numeric row vector of the form [lat, lon, alt], where:

  • lat is the latitude of the coordinate in degrees.

  • lon is the longitude of the coordinate in degrees.

  • alt is the altitude of the coordinate in meters.

These values are with respect to the WGS84 reference ellipsoid, which is a standard ellipsoid used by GPS data.

You can set GeoReference when you create the driving scenario. The roadNetwork function also sets this property when you import roads into an empty driving scenario.

  • If you import roads by specifying coordinates, then the roadNetwork function sets GeoReference to the first (or only) specified coordinate.

  • If you import roads by specifying a region or map file, then the roadNetwork sets GeoReference to the center point of the region or map.

The roadNetwork function overrides any previously set GeoReference value.

In the Driving Scenario Designer app, when you import map data and export a drivingScenario object, the GeoReference property of that object is set to the geographic reference of the app scenario.

By specifying these coordinates as the origin in the latlon2local function, you can the convert geographic coordinates of a driving route into the local coordinates of a driving scenario. Then, you can specify this converted route as a vehicle trajectory in the scenario.

If your driving scenario does not use geographic coordinates, then GeoReference is an empty array, [].

Object Functions

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advanceAdvance driving scenario simulation by one time step
plotPlot driving scenario
plotSim3dPlot driving scenario in Unreal Engine viewer
recordRun driving scenario and record actor states
restartRestart driving scenario simulation from beginning
updatePlotsUpdate driving scenario plots
exportExport driving scenario to ASAM OpenDRIVE, ASAM OpenSCENARIO or RoadRunner HD Map file
actorAdd actor to driving scenario
actorPosesPositions, velocities, and orientations of actors in driving scenario
actorProfilesPhysical and radar characteristics of actors in driving scenario
vehicleAdd vehicle to driving scenario
barrierAdd a barrier to a driving scenario
chasePlotEgo-centric projective perspective plot
trajectoryCreate actor or vehicle trajectory in driving scenario
smoothTrajectoryCreate smooth, jerk-limited actor trajectory in driving scenario
targetPosesTarget positions and orientations relative to host vehicle
targetOutlinesOutlines of targets viewed by actor
driving.scenario.targetsToEgoConvert target poses from scenario to ego coordinates
driving.scenario.targetsToScenarioConvert target poses from ego to scenario coordinates
roadAdd road to driving scenario or road group
roadNetworkAdd road network to driving scenario
roadBoundariesGet road boundaries
driving.scenario.roadBoundariesToEgoConvert road boundaries to ego vehicle coordinates
lanespecCreate road lane specifications
laneMarkingCreate road lane marking object
laneMarkingVerticesLane marking vertices and faces in driving scenario
currentLaneGet current lane of actor
laneBoundariesGet lane boundaries of actor lane
clothoidLaneBoundaryClothoid-shaped lane boundary model
computeBoundaryModelCompute lane boundary points from clothoid lane boundary model
laneTypeCreate road lane type object
parkingLotAdd parking lot to driving scenario
parkingSpaceDefine parking space for parking lot
insertParkingSpacesInsert parking spaces into parking lot
parkingLaneMarkingVerticesParking lane marking vertices and faces in driving scenario

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addSensorsAdd sensors to specific host vehicle


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Create a driving scenario containing a curved road, two straight roads, and two actors: a car and a bicycle. Both actors move along the road for 60 seconds.

Create the driving scenario object.

scenario = drivingScenario('SampleTime',0.1','StopTime',60);

Create the curved road using road center points following the arc of a circle with an 800-meter radius. The arc starts at 0°, ends at 90°, and is sampled at 5° increments.

angs = [0:5:90]';
R = 800;
roadcenters = R*[cosd(angs) sind(angs) zeros(size(angs))];
roadwidth = 10;
cr = road(scenario,roadcenters,roadwidth);

Add two straight roads with the default width, using road center points at each end. To the first straight road add barriers on both road edges.

roadcenters = [700 0 0; 100 0 0];
sr1 = road(scenario,roadcenters);
roadcenters = [400 400 0; 0 0 0];

Get the road boundaries.

rbdry = roadBoundaries(scenario);

Add a car and a bicycle to the scenario. Position the car at the beginning of the first straight road.

car = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1,'Position',[700 0 0], ...

Position the bicycle farther down the road.

bicycle = actor(scenario,'ClassID',3,'Position',[706 376 0]', ...

Plot the scenario.


Display the actor poses and profiles.

allActorPoses = actorPoses(scenario)
allActorPoses=242×1 struct array with fields:

allActorProfiles = actorProfiles(scenario)
allActorProfiles=242×1 struct array with fields:

Because there are barriers in this scenario, and each barrier segment is considered an actor, actorPoses and actorProfiles functions return the poses of all stationary and non-stationary actors. To only obtain the poses and profiles of non-stationary actors such as vehicles and bicycles, first obtain their corresponding actor IDs using the scenario.Actors.ActorID property.

movableActorIDs = [scenario.Actors.ActorID];

Then, use those IDs to filter only non-stationary actor poses and profiles.

movableActorPoseIndices = ismember([allActorPoses.ActorID],movableActorIDs);

movableActorPoses = allActorPoses(movableActorPoseIndices)
movableActorPoses=2×1 struct array with fields:

movableActorProfiles = allActorProfiles(movableActorPoseIndices)
movableActorProfiles=2×1 struct array with fields:

Create a driving scenario and show how target outlines change as the simulation advances.

Create a driving scenario consisting of two intersecting straight roads. The first road segment is 45 meters long. The second straight road is 32 meters long with jersey barriers along both its edges, and intersects the first road. A car traveling at 12.0 meters per second along the first road approaches a running pedestrian crossing the intersection at 2.0 meters per second.

scenario = drivingScenario('SampleTime',0.1,'StopTime',1);
road1 = road(scenario,[-10 0 0; 45 -20 0]);
road2 = road(scenario,[-10 -10 0; 35 10 0]);
ped = actor(scenario,'ClassID',4,'Length',0.4,'Width',0.6,'Height',1.7);
car = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);
pedspeed = 2.0;
carspeed = 12.0;
smoothTrajectory(ped,[15 -3 0; 15 3 0],pedspeed);
smoothTrajectory(car,[-10 -10 0; 35 10 0],carspeed);

Create an ego-centric chase plot for the vehicle.


Create an empty bird's-eye plot and add an outline plotter and lane boundary plotter. Then, run the simulation. At each simulation step:

  • Update the chase plot to display the road boundaries and target outlines.

  • Update the bird's-eye plot to display the updated road boundaries and target outlines. The plot perspective is always with respect to the ego vehicle.

bepPlot = birdsEyePlot('XLim',[-50 50],'YLim',[-40 40]);
outlineplotter = outlinePlotter(bepPlot);
laneplotter = laneBoundaryPlotter(bepPlot);

while advance(scenario)
    rb = roadBoundaries(car);
    [position,yaw,length,width,originOffset,color] = targetOutlines(car);
    [bposition,byaw,blength,bwidth,boriginOffset,bcolor,barrierSegments] = targetOutlines(car,'Barriers');
    plotOutline(outlineplotter,position,yaw,length,width, ...
    plotBarrierOutline(outlineplotter,barrierSegments,bposition,byaw,blength,bwidth, ...

Create a driving scenario containing an ego vehicle and a target vehicle traveling along a three-lane road. Detect the lane boundaries by using a vision detection generator.

scenario = drivingScenario;

Create a three-lane road by using lane specifications.

roadCenters = [0 0 0; 60 0 0; 120 30 0];
lspc = lanespec(3);

Specify that the ego vehicle follows the center lane at 30 m/s.

egovehicle = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);
egopath = [1.5 0 0; 60 0 0; 111 25 0];
egospeed = 30;

Specify that the target vehicle travels ahead of the ego vehicle at 40 m/s and changes lanes close to the ego vehicle.

targetcar = vehicle(scenario,'ClassID',1);
targetpath = [8 2; 60 -3.2; 120 33];
targetspeed = 40;

Display a chase plot for a 3-D view of the scenario from behind the ego vehicle.


Create a vision detection generator that detects lanes and objects. The pitch of the sensor points one degree downward.

visionSensor = visionDetectionGenerator('Pitch',1.0);
visionSensor.DetectorOutput = 'Lanes and objects';
visionSensor.ActorProfiles = actorProfiles(scenario);

Run the simulation.

  1. Create a bird's-eye plot and the associated plotters.

  2. Display the sensor coverage area.

  3. Display the lane markings.

  4. Obtain ground truth poses of targets on the road.

  5. Obtain ideal lane boundary points up to 60 m ahead.

  6. Generate detections from the ideal target poses and lane boundaries.

  7. Display the outline of the target.

  8. Display object detections when the object detection is valid.

  9. Display the lane boundary when the lane detection is valid.

bep = birdsEyePlot('XLim',[0 60],'YLim',[-35 35]);
caPlotter = coverageAreaPlotter(bep,'DisplayName','Coverage area', ...
detPlotter = detectionPlotter(bep,'DisplayName','Object detections');
lmPlotter = laneMarkingPlotter(bep,'DisplayName','Lane markings');
lbPlotter = laneBoundaryPlotter(bep,'DisplayName', ...
    'Lane boundary detections','Color','red');
olPlotter = outlinePlotter(bep);
    visionSensor.MaxRange,visionSensor.Yaw, ...
while advance(scenario)
    [lmv,lmf] = laneMarkingVertices(egovehicle);
    tgtpose = targetPoses(egovehicle);
    lookaheadDistance = 0:0.5:60;
    lb = laneBoundaries(egovehicle,'XDistance',lookaheadDistance,'LocationType','inner');
    [obdets,nobdets,obValid,lb_dets,nlb_dets,lbValid] = ...
    [objposition,objyaw,objlength,objwidth,objoriginOffset,color] = targetOutlines(egovehicle);
    plotOutline(olPlotter,objposition,objyaw,objlength,objwidth, ...
    if obValid
        detPos = cellfun(@(d)d.Measurement(1:2),obdets,'UniformOutput',false);
        detPos = vertcat(zeros(0,2),cell2mat(detPos')');
    if lbValid

In this example, you will add sensors to a driving scenario using the addSensors function and get ground-truth target poses based on the individual sensor inputs. Then, you process the ground-truth target poses into detections and visualize them.

Set Up Driving Scenario and Bird's-Eye-Plot

Create a driving scenario with an ego vehicle and two target vehicles. One target vehicle is in the front and the other is to the left of the ego-vehicle.

[scenario, egovehicle] = helperCreateDrivingScenario;

Configure a vision sensor to be mounted at the front of the ego vehicle.

visionSensor = visionDetectionGenerator(SensorIndex=1,SensorLocation=[4.0 0],Height=1.1,Pitch=1.0,DetectorOutput="Objects only");

Configure an ultrasonic sensor to be mounted at the left side of the ego-vehicle.

leftUltrasonic = ultrasonicDetectionGenerator(SensorIndex=2,MountingLocation=[0.5 1 0.2],MountingAngles=[90 0 0],FieldOfView=[70 35],UpdateRate=100);

Create a bird's-eye-plot to visualize the driving scenario.

[detPlotter,lmPlotter,olPlotter,lulrdPlotter,luldetPlotter,bepAxes] = helperCreateBEP(visionSensor,leftUltrasonic);

Add Sensors and Simulate Driving Scenario

Add both vision and ultrasonic sensors to the driving scenario using the addSensors function. You can add sensors to any vehicle in the driving scenario using the addSensors function by specifying the actor ID of the desired vehicle. In this example, specify the ego-vehicle actor ID.


Simulate the driving scenario. Note that you get separate target poses based on individual sensors by specifying their respective sensor IDs as inputs to the targetPoses function. This syntax returns the ground-truth poses of targets only within the range of the specified sensor. You then pass the ground-truth poses to their respective sensor models to generate detections and visualize them.

lookaheadDistance = 0:0.5:60;
while advance(scenario)
    lb = laneBoundaries(egovehicle,'XDistance',lookaheadDistance,'LocationType','inner');
    [lmv,lmf] = laneMarkingVertices(egovehicle);

    % Get ground-truth poses of targets in the range of vision and ultrasonic sensors separately  
    tgtposeVision = targetPoses(scenario,visionSensor.SensorIndex);
    tgtposeUltrasonic = targetPoses(scenario,leftUltrasonic.SensorIndex);
    % Obtain detections based on targets only in range
    [obdets,obValid] = visionSensor(tgtposeVision,scenario.SimulationTime);
    [lobdets,lobValid] = leftUltrasonic(tgtposeUltrasonic,scenario.SimulationTime);


Helper Functions

helperCreateDrivingScenario creates a driving scenario by specifying the road and vehicle properties.

function [scenario, egovehicle] = helperCreateDrivingScenario
    scenario = drivingScenario;
    roadCenters = [-120 30 0;-60 0 0;0 0 0; 60 0 0; 120 30 0; 180 60 0];
    lspc = lanespec(3);

    % Create an ego vehicle that travels in the center lane at a velocity of 30 m/s.
    egovehicle = vehicle(scenario,ClassID=1);
    egopath = [1.5 0 0; 60 0 0; 111 25 0];
    egospeed = 30;

    % Add a target vehicle that travels ahead of the ego vehicle at 30.5 m/s in the right lane, and changes lanes close to the ego vehicle.    
    ftargetcar = vehicle(scenario,ClassID=1);
    ftargetpath = [8 2; 60 -3.2; 120 33];
    ftargetspeed = 40;

    % Add a second target vehicle that travels in the left lane at 32m/s.    
    ltargetcar = vehicle(scenario,ClassID=1);
    ltargetpath = [-5.0 3.5 0; 60 3.5 0; 111 28.5 0];
    ltargetspeed = 30;

helperCreateBEP creates a bird's-eye-plot for visualing the driving scenario simulation.

function [detPlotter, lmPlotter, olPlotter, lulrdPlotter,luldetPlotter,bepAxes] = helperCreateBEP(visionSensor,leftUltrasonic)
    figureName = "BEP";
    Figure = findobj('Type','Figure',Name=figureName);
    if isempty(Figure)
        screenSize = double(get(groot,'ScreenSize'));
        Figure = figure(Name=figureName);
        Figure.Position = [screenSize(3)*0.17 screenSize(4)*0.15 screenSize(3)*0.4 screenSize(4)*0.6];
        Figure.NumberTitle = 'off';
        Figure.MenuBar = 'none';
        Figure.ToolBar = 'none';
    bepAxes = axes(Figure);
    bep = birdsEyePlot(Parent=bepAxes,XLim=[-20 60],YLim=[-35 35]);
    caPlotterV = coverageAreaPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Vision Coverage area",FaceColor="b");
    caPlotterU = coverageAreaPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Ultrasonic Coverage area",FaceColor="m");
    detPlotter = detectionPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Object detections");
    lmPlotter = laneMarkingPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Lane markings");
    olPlotter = outlinePlotter(bep);
        visionSensor.MaxRange,visionSensor.Yaw, ...
        leftUltrasonic.DetectionRange(3),leftUltrasonic.MountingAngles(1), ...
    lulrdPlotter = rangeDetectionPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Left Ultrasonic Ranges",LineStyle="-");
    luldetPlotter = detectionPlotter(bep,DisplayName="Point-On-Target (Left Ultrasonic)",MarkerFaceColor="k");

helperPlotBEPVision plots ego vehicle outlines, lanes and vision detections on the bird's-eye-plot.

function helperPlotBEPVision(egovehicle,lmv,lmf,obdets,obValid,detPlotter, lmPlotter, olPlotter)
    [objposition,objyaw,objlength,objwidth,objoriginOffset,color] = targetOutlines(egovehicle);
    plotOutline(olPlotter,objposition,objyaw,objlength,objwidth, ...

    if obValid
        detPos = cellfun(@(d)d.Measurement(1:2),obdets,UniformOutput=false);
        detPos = vertcat(zeros(0,2),cell2mat(detPos')');


helperPlotBEPUltrasonic plots ultrasonic range measurements and points on targets.

function helperPlotBEPUltrasonic(lobdets,lobValid,leftUltrasonic,lulrdPlotter,luldetPlotter)
    if ~isempty(lobdets) && lobValid
        lranges = lobdets{1}.Measurement;



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Version History

Introduced in R2017a