The OpenDRIVE® project started a couple years ago when VIRES began building visual databases for various driving simulators. In order to interface the databases with the vehicle dynamics or the autonomous traffic, an additional description of a road network's logics had to be delivered with each visual database.

Working for different customers helped understanding that the mere road information required for each simulation was nearly identical in content, although different formats were used.

Keeping this in mind, VIRES and the people of the Daimler Driving Simulator in Berlin (meanwhile relocated to Sindelfingen), started developing a way of standardizing the logical road description in order to facilitate the data exchange between different simulators.

From this point, the project took off and has gained a broad user community since then. It is considered a de-facto standard in the simulation industry.


Since 2006, the OpenDRIVE® standard has been reviewed and released by a core team of driving simulation experts. This team decided to take OpenDRIVE® to the next level of professionality by transferring management to ASAM e.V. on September 7th, 2018. For news on this process and further details please go to


The OpenDRIVE® file format provides the following features:

  • XML format
  • hierarchical structure
  • analytical definition of road geometry
    (plane elements, lateral / vertical profile, lane width etc.)
  • various types of lanes
  • junctions and junction groups
  • logical inter-connection of lanes
  • signs and signals incl. dependencies
  • signal controllers (e.g. for junctions)
  • road surface properties (see also OpenCRG)
  • road and road-side objects
  • user-defineable data beads
  • etc.
  • OpenDRIVE® files are designed to describe entire road networks with respect to all data belonging to the road environment. They do not describe the entities acting on or interacting with the road.


    The following figure shows the typical incorporation of an OpenDRIVE® file into a simulation tool-chain:

    The OpenDRIVE® data may be derived from road scans, navigation data, road network design software or other sources. It may be complemented by detailed surface information using the OpenCRG format. The resulting road information will be made available to e.g. vehicle dynamics, traffic simulation and sensor simulation via a layer of evaluation routines. Typical applications require that the road information be evaluated in real-time within strong time constraints.

    Users may want to write their own routines for evaluating OpenDRIVE® files. Alternatively, commercial tools based on the latest release of the OpenDRIVE® format are available for highly efficient access to the road data, e.g. here... Free tools involving OpenDRIVE® can be found in the downloads section.

    Sample Data

    On this website, we provide OpenDRIVE® sample files which are intended to represent various features of the latest format specification for reference purposes (see downloads section).