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Launch files#


Autoware use ROS 2 launch system to startup the software. Please see the official documentation to get a basic understanding about ROS 2 Launch system if you are not familiar with it.


The organization of launch files in Autoware#

Autoware mainly has two repositories related to launch file organization: the autoware.universe and the autoware_launch.


the autoware.universe contains the code of the main Autoware modules, and its launch directory is responsible for launching the nodes of each module. Autoware software stack is organized based on the architecture, so you may find that we try to match the launch structure similar to the architecture (splitting of files, namespace). For example, the tier4_map_launch subdirectory corresponds to the map module, so do the other tier4_*_launch subdirectories.


The autoware_launch is a repository referring to autoware.universe. The mainly purpose of introducing this repository is to provide the general entrance to start the Autoware software stacks, i.e, calling the launch file of each module.

  • The autoware.launch.xml is the basic launch file for road driving scenarios.

    As can be seen from the content, the entire launch file is divided into several different modules, including Vehicle, System, Map, Sensing, Localization, Perception, Planning, Control, etc. By setting the launch_* argument equals to true or false , we can determine which modules to be loaded.

  • The logging_simulator.launch.xml is often used together with the recorded ROS bag to debug if the target module (e.g, Sensing, Localization or Perception) functions normally.
  • The planning_simulator.launch.xml is based on the Planning Simulator tool, mainly used for testing/validation of Planning module by simulating traffic rules, interactions with dynamic objects and control commands to the ego vehicle.
  • The e2e_simulator.launch.xml is the launcher for digital twin simulation environment.
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Add a new package in Autoware#

If a newly created package has executable node, we expect sample launch file and configuration within the package, just like the recommended structure shown in previous directory structure page.

In order to automatically load the newly added package when starting Autoware, you need to make some necessary changes to the corresponding launch file. For example, if using ICP instead of NDT as the pointcloud registration algorithm, you can modify the autoware.universe/launch/tier4_localization_launch/launch/pose_estimator/pose_estimator.launch.xml file to load the newly added ICP package.

Parameter management#

Another purpose of introducing the autoware_launch repository is to facilitate the parameter management of Autoware. Thinking about this situation: if we want to integrate Autoware to a specific vehicle and modify parameters, we have to fork autoware.universe which also has a lot of code other than parameters and is frequently updated by developers. By integrating these parameters in autoware_launch, we can customize the Autoware parameters just by forking autoware_launch repository. Taking the localization module as an examples:

  1. all the “launch parameters” for localization component is listed in the files under autoware_launch/autoware_launch/config/localization.
  2. the "launch parameters" file paths are set in the autoware_launch/autoware_launch/launch/components/tier4_localization_component.launch.xml file.
  3. in autoware.universe/launch/tier4_localization_launch/launch, the launch files loads the “launch parameters” if the argument is given in the parameter configuration file. You can still use the default parameters in each packages to launch tier4_localization_launch within autoware.universe.