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Use HERE HD Live Map Data to Verify Lane Configurations

This example shows how to read and visualize lane configurations for a recorded driving route from the HERE HD Live Map (HERE HDLM) service. This visualization can be used to verify the lane configurations detected by the perception system of an onboard sensor, such as a monocular camera.

In this example, you learn how to access the tiled layers from the HDLM service and identify relevant road-level and lane-level topology, geometry, and attributes.

To read the data, you use a hereHDLMReader object. Use of the HERE HD Live Map service requires valid HERE HDLM credentials. You need to enter into a separate agreement with HERE in order to gain access to the HDLM services and to get the required credentials (access_key_id and access_key_secret) for using the HERE Service.


High-definition (HD) maps refer to mapping services developed specifically for automated driving applications. The precise geometry of these maps (with up to 1 cm resolution near the equator) make them suitable for automated driving workflows beyond the route planning applications of traditional road maps. Such workflows include lane-level verification, localization, and path planning. This example shows you how to verify the performance of a lane detection system using lane-level information from HD mapping data.

The accuracy of HD mapping data enables its use as a source of ground truth data for verification of onboard sensor perception systems. This high accuracy enables faster and more accurate verification of existing deployed algorithms.

HERE HD Live Map (HERE HDLM) is a cloud-based HD map service developed by HERE Technologies to support highly automated driving. The data is composed of tiled mapping layers that provide access to accurate geometry and robust attributes of a road network. The layers are grouped into the following models:

  • Road Centerline Model: Provides road topology (specified as nodes and links in a graph), shape geometry, and other road-level attributes.

  • HD Lane Model: Provides lane topology (as lane groups and lane group connectors), highly accurate geometry, and lane-level attributes.

  • HD Localization Model: Provides features to support vehicle localization strategies.

For an overview of HERE HDLM layers, see HERE HD Live Map Layers.

Cameras are used in automated driving to gather semantic information about the road topology around the vehicle. Lane boundary detection, lane type classification, and road sign detection algorithms form the core of such a camera processing pipeline. You can use the HERE HDLM service, along with a high-precision GPS mounted on the vehicle, to evaluate the accuracy of such algorithms and verify their performance.

In this example, you learn how to:

  1. Read road and lane information from the HERE HDLM service for a recorded GPS sequence.

  2. Apply a heuristic route matching approach to the recorded GPS data. Because GPS data is often imprecise, it is necessary to solve the problem of matching recorded geographic coordinates to a representation of the road network.

  3. Identify environmental attributes relevant to the vehicle. Once a vehicle is successfully located within the context of the map, you can use road and lane attributes relevant to the vehicle to verify data recorded by the vehicle's onboard camera sensor.

Load and Display Camera and GPS Data

Start by loading data from the recorded drive. The recorded data in this example is from a driving dataset collected by the Udacity® Self-Driving Car team. This data includes a video captured by a front-facing monocular camera and vehicle positions and velocities logged by a GPS.

Load the centerCamera.avi camera video data and corresponding video timestamps.

recordedData = fullfile(toolboxdir('driving'), 'drivingdata', ...
    'udacity', 'drive_segment_09_29_16');
[videoReader, videoTime] = helperLoadCameraData(fullfile(recordedData));

% Show the first frame of the camera data
imageFrame = readFrame(videoReader);
imshow(imageFrame, 'Border', 'tight');

Load the GPS data from the gpsSequence.mat MAT-file.

data = load(fullfile(recordedData, 'gpsSequence.mat'));
gpsData = data.gpsTT;

% Plot the full route and the first position recorded from the GPS
gpsPlayer = geoplayer(gpsData.Latitude(1), gpsData.Longitude(1), 18);
plotRoute(gpsPlayer, gpsData.Latitude, gpsData.Longitude);
plotPosition(gpsPlayer, gpsData.Latitude(1), gpsData.Longitude(1));

Match Recorded Vehicle Position to a Road

Create a reader for reading the HERE HD Live Map tiles that cover all recorded GPS locations in the drive. If you have not previously set up HERE HDLM credentials, a dialog box prompts you to enter them. Enter the Access Key ID and Access Key Secret that you obtained from HERE Technologies, and click OK.

reader = hereHDLMReader(gpsData.Latitude, gpsData.Longitude);

Read and plot road topology data from the TopologyGeometry layer. This layer represents the configuration of the road network. Nodes of the network correspond to intersections and dead-ends. Links between nodes represent the shape of the connecting streets as polylines. The connectivity and geometry for these features are contained in the LinksStartingInTile and NodesInTile fields.

topologyLayer = read(reader, 'TopologyGeometry')

figure('Name', 'TopologyGeometry');
topologyAxes = plot(topologyLayer);
hold(topologyAxes, 'on');
geoplot(topologyAxes, gpsData.Latitude, gpsData.Longitude, ...
    'bo-', 'DisplayName', 'Route');
topologyLayer = 

  TopologyGeometry with properties:

                    HereTileId: 309106790
          IntersectingLinkRefs: [44×1 struct]
           LinksStartingInTile: [931×1 struct]
                   NodesInTile: [677×1 struct]
    TileCenterHere2dCoordinate: [37.3865 -122.1130]

                       Catalog: 'hrn:here:data::olp-here-had:here-hdlm-protobuf-na-2'
                CatalogVersion: 15736

  Use plot to visualize TopologyGeometry data.

The plotting functionality is captured within the helperPlotLayer function, which visualizes available data from a HD Live Map layer with the recorded drive on the same geographic axes. This function, defined at the end of the example, will be used to plot subsequent layers.

Given a GPS location recorded along a drive, you can use a route matching algorithm to determine which road on the network the recorded position corresponds to. This example uses a heuristic route matching algorithm that considers the nearest links spatially to the recorded geographic point. The algorithm applies the vehicle's direction of travel to determine the most probable link. This route matching approach does not consider road connectivity, vehicle access, or GPS data with high positional error. Therefore, this approach might not apply to all scenarios.

The helperGetGeometry function extracts geometry information from the given topology layer and returns this information in a table with the corresponding links.

topologyTable = helperGetGeometry(topologyLayer.LinksStartingInTile, ...
    {'LinkId', 'Geometry.Here2dCoordinateDiffs'});
topologyTable.Properties.VariableNames = {'LinkId', 'Geometry'};

The HelperLinkMatcher class creates a link matcher, which contains the shape geometry for each link in the desired map tile. This class uses a basic spatial analysis to match the recorded position to the shape coordinates of the road links.

linkMatcher = HelperLinkMatcher(topologyTable);

% Match first point of the recorded route to the most probable link
[linkId, linkLat, linkLon] = match(linkMatcher, gpsData.Latitude(1), ...
    gpsData.Longitude(1), gpsData.Velocity(1,1:2));

% Plot the shape geometry of the link
geoplot(gpsPlayer.Axes, linkLat, linkLon, 'r.-');

Retrieve Speed Limit Along a Matched Road

Characteristics common to all lanes along a given road are attributed to the link element that describes that road. One such attribute, speed limit, describes the maximum legal speed for vehicles traveling on the link. Once a given geographic coordinate is matched to a link, you can identify the speed limit along that link. Because features like speed limits often change along the length of a link, these attributes are identified for specific ranges of the link.

The SpeedAttributes layer contains information about the expected vehicle speed on a link, including the posted speed limit.

speedLayer = read(reader, 'SpeedAttributes');

The helperGetSpeedLimits function extracts speed limit data for the relevant length and direction of a link. As with extracting the geometry information for a link, specifically capturing the speed limit data requires specialized code.

speedTable = helperGetSpeedLimits(speedLayer);

% Find the speed limit entry for the matched link
speed = speedTable(speedTable.LinkId == linkId, :);

Match Recorded Position to a Lane Group

The HD Lane Model contains the lane-level geometry and attributes of the road, providing the detail necessary to support automated driving applications. Much like the Road Centerline Model, the HD Lane Model also follows a pattern of using topology to describe the road network at the lane level. Then features of the lane groups are attributed to the elements of this topology. In the HD Lane Model, the primary topological element is the lane group.

Read and plot lane topology data from the LaneTopology layer. This layer represents lane topology as lane groups and lane group connectors. Lane groups represent a group of lanes within a link (road segment). Lane group connectors connect individual lane groups to each other. The connectivity and geometry for these features are contained in the LaneGroupsStartingInTile and LaneGroupConnectorsInTile fields, for lane groups and lane group connectors, respectively.

laneTopologyLayer = read(reader, 'LaneTopology')
laneAxes = helperPlotLayer(laneTopologyLayer, ...
    gpsData.Latitude, gpsData.Longitude);
geolimits(laneAxes, [37.3823, 37.3838], [-122.1151, -122.1128]);
laneTopologyLayer = 

  LaneTopology with properties:

                    HereTileId: 309106790
     IntersectingLaneGroupRefs: [55×1 struct]
     LaneGroupConnectorsInTile: [1143×1 struct]
      LaneGroupsStartingInTile: [1737×1 struct]
    TileCenterHere2dCoordinate: [37.3865 -122.1130]

                       Catalog: 'hrn:here:data::olp-here-had:here-hdlm-protobuf-na-2'
                CatalogVersion: 15736

  Use plot to visualize LaneTopology data.

The lane group represents multiple lanes. Therefore, the geometry of this element is given by the polygonal shape the group takes, as expressed by the left and right boundaries of the lane group. Obtain this lane geometry from the lane boundaries by using the helperGetGeometry function.

laneGroupFields = {'LaneGroupId', ...
    'BoundaryGeometry.LeftBoundary.Here2dCoordinateDiffs', ...
laneTopologyTable = helperGetGeometry(laneTopologyLayer.LaneGroupsStartingInTile, ...
laneTopologyTable.Properties.VariableNames = {'LaneGroupId', ...
    'LeftGeometry', 'RightGeometry'};

As with developing a matching algorithm to identify the most probable travel link, matching the given GPS data to the most probable lane group can follow multiple approaches. The approach described here uses two layers: LaneRoadReferences and LaneTopology.

  • The LaneRoadReferences layer enables you to translate a position on the Road Centerline Model (given by a link) to a corresponding position on the HD Lane Model (given by a lane group). Since the link was previously identified, you can filter the candidates for a lane group match to a smaller subset of all the lane groups available in the tile.

  • The LaneTopology layer gives geometry data, which can be used to consider data that exists spatially within the boundaries of each candidate lane group. As with spatially matching GPS data to links, such an approach is prone to error and subject to the accuracy of the recorded GPS data. In addition to matching the lane group, you also need to match the direction vector of the vehicle relative to the orientation of the lane group. This step is necessary because the attributes of the lanes are defined with respect to the topology orientation.

Use the helperGetReferences function to generate a table of all lane groups that exist for at least some length of a link.

referenceLayer = read(reader, 'LaneRoadReferences');
referenceTable = helperGetReferences(referenceLayer);

Create a lane group matcher that contains the boundary geometry for each lane group in the desired map tile. The HelperLaneGroupMatcher class creates a lane group matcher that contains the boundary shape geometry for each lane group in the desired map tile. It also contains a reference table of links to lane groups. As with the HelperLinkMatcher class, this class uses a simple spatial analysis approach to determine if a given recorded coordinate exists within the boundaries of a lane group.

laneGroupMatcher = HelperLaneGroupMatcher(referenceTable, laneTopologyTable);

% Match the lane group and relative direction
[laneGroupId, isForward, boundGeometry] = match(laneGroupMatcher, linkId, ...
    gpsData.Latitude(1), gpsData.Longitude(1), gpsData.Velocity(1,1:2));

% Plot the boundary geometry of the lane group
geoplot(gpsPlayer.Axes, boundGeometry(:,1), boundGeometry(:,2), 'm.-');

Retrieve Lane Configurations for a Matched Lane Group

As with the speed attributes that are mapped to links by an identifier, lane attributes also assign features to lane groups by using a lane group ID. The LaneAttributes layer contains information about the lane groups, including the types of each lane in the group and the characteristics of the lane boundaries.

Use the helperGetLaneAttributes function to extract the different lane types and lane boundary markings for each lane group in the tile.

laneAttributesLayer = read(reader, 'LaneAttributes');
laneAttributesTable = helperGetLaneAttributes(laneAttributesLayer);

% Find the lane attribute entry for the matched lane group
laneAttribute = laneAttributesTable.LaneGroupId == laneGroupId;

Visualize and Verify Recorded Drive with HERE HDLM Data

The matching algorithms and tables generated to identify the road and lane properties can be extended to a sequence of recorded GPS coordinates. For each time step, the vehicle's position is matched to a link and lane group on the road. In addition, the speed limit and lane configurations are displayed along with the corresponding camera images.

The HelperHDLMUI class creates a tool for streaming video and GPS data from a recorded drive and displaying relevant information from selected HERE HD Live Map layers at each recorded vehicle position.

hdlmUI = HelperHDLMUI(gpsData.Latitude(1), gpsData.Longitude(1));

% Synchronize the camera and GPS data into a common timetable
synchronizedData = synchronize(videoTime, gpsData);
videoReader.CurrentTime = 0;
maxDisplayRate = videoReader.FrameRate * 5;

% Initialize some variables to maintain history
prevLinkId      = 0;
prevLaneGroupId = 0;

for idx = 1 : height(synchronizedData)

    timeStamp = synchronizedData.Time(idx);

    % Check if the current timestamp has GPS data
    hasGPSFrame = ~(ismissing(synchronizedData.Latitude(idx)) || ...

    if hasGPSFrame
        latitude  = synchronizedData.Latitude(idx);
        longitude = synchronizedData.Longitude(idx);
        velocity  = synchronizedData.Velocity(idx, 1:2);

        % Match GPS position to link
        [linkId, linkLat, linkLon] = match(linkMatcher, ...
            latitude, longitude, velocity);

        if linkId ~= prevLinkId
            % Update link
            updateLink(hdlmUI, linkLat, linkLon);
            prevLinkId = linkId;

            % Update speed limit
            speed = speedTable(speedTable.LinkId == linkId, :);
            updateSpeed(hdlmUI, speed.Value);

        % Match GPS position to lane group
        [laneGroupId, isForward, boundGeometry] = match(laneGroupMatcher, linkId, ...
            latitude, longitude, velocity);

        if laneGroupId ~= prevLaneGroupId
            % Update lane group
            updateLaneGroup(hdlmUI, boundGeometry);
            prevLaneGroupId = laneGroupId;

            % Update lane types and boundary markings
            laneAttribute = laneAttributesTable.LaneGroupId == laneGroupId;
            plotLanes(hdlmUI, laneAttributesTable.Lanes{laneAttribute}, ...
                laneAttributesTable.LaneBoundaries{laneAttribute}, isForward);

        updatePosition(hdlmUI, latitude, longitude);
        % Read frame of the video
        imageFrame = readFrame(videoReader);

    updateImage(hdlmUI, imageFrame);
    updateTime(hdlmUI, timeStamp);


In this example, you explored how to:

  1. Access HD mapping data for a given GPS sequence from the HERE HD Live Map service and import that data into MATLAB.

  2. Match recorded GPS data against the imported road network data to find the relevant link and lane group for each geographic coordinate.

  3. Query attributes of the matched link and lane group, such as speed limit and lane types, to develop a tool for visually verifying features of the road against the recorded camera data.

The techniques discussed in this example can be further extended to support automated verification of perception algorithms.

Supporting Functions

helperPlotLayer plots layer data and route on a geographic plot.

function gx = helperPlotLayer(layer, latitude, longitude)
%helperPlotLayer Create geographic plot with layer data and route
%   gx = helperPlotLayer(layer, latitude, longitude) creates a geographic
%   axes plot with the plottable HDLM layer and the route given by latitude
%   and longitude on a new figure.


% Plot layer
gx = plot(layer);

% Enable adding data to the plot
hold(gx, 'on');

% Plot latitude, longitude data
geoplot(gx, latitude, longitude, 'bo-', 'DisplayName', 'Route');
hold(gx, 'off');

helperGetGeometry extracts geometry for topology elements from a layer in the form of a table.

function geometryTable = helperGetGeometry(layer, fields)
%helperGetGeometry Create a table with geometry for topology elements
%   geometryTable = helperGetGeometry(layer, fields) returns a table
%   formatted with the specified geometry fields of the TopologyGeometry
%   and LaneTopology layers.

% Pre-allocate struct
S = repmat(struct, size(layer));

for field = fields
    C = strsplit(field{:}, '.');
    for idx = 1:numel(layer)
        fieldname = strjoin(C, '');
        S(idx).(fieldname) = getfield(layer, {idx}, C{:});

geometryTable = struct2table(S);

helperGetSpeedLimits extracts speed limit data from a layer in the form of a table.

function speedTable = helperGetSpeedLimits(layer)
%helperGetSpeedLimits Create a data table with speed limits
%   speedTable = helperGetSpeedLimits(layer) returns a table formatted with
%   the speed limit start, end, direction, and value along a specified link
%   as given by the SpeedAttributes layer object specified by layer.

speed = struct(...
    'LinkId',       {}, ...
    'Start',        {}, ...
    'End',          {}, ...
    'Direction',    {}, ...
    'Value',        {});

for idx = 1 : numel(layer.LinkAttribution)

    % Assign the link ID
    link            = layer.LinkAttribution(idx);
    attributions    = link.ParametricAttribution;

    % Examine each attribute assigned to the link
    for attrIndex = 1 : numel(attributions)

        linkAttr = vertcat(attributions.LinkParametricAttribution);

        % For each attribute, check if the speed limit information is
        % listed. If speed limit is provided, make an entry.
        for linkAttrIndex = 1 : numel(linkAttr)

            if ~isempty(linkAttr(linkAttrIndex).SpeedLimit)

                % Assign speed limit to specified link
                speedLimit = struct;
                speedLimit.LinkId       = link.LinkLocalRef;
                speedLimit.Start        = attributions(attrIndex).AppliesToRange.RangeOffsetFromStart;
                speedLimit.End          = attributions(attrIndex).AppliesToRange.RangeOffsetFromEnd;
                speedLimit.Direction    = attributions(attrIndex).AppliesToDirection;
                speedLimit.Value        = linkAttr(linkAttrIndex).SpeedLimit.Value;

                % Convert KPH to MPH
                if strcmpi(linkAttr(linkAttrIndex).SpeedLimit.Unit, 'KILOMETERS_PER_HOUR')
                    speedLimit.Value = speedLimit.Value / 1.609;

                if strcmpi(speedLimit.Direction, 'BOTH')
                    speed = [speed; speedLimit]; %#ok<AGROW>


speedTable = struct2table(speed);

helperGetReferences extracts lane road references from a layer object in the form of a table.

function laneRoadReferenceTable = helperGetReferences(layer)
%helperGetReferences Create a data table with lane road references
%   laneRoadReferenceTable = helperGetReferences(layer) returns a table
%   formatted with a list of all lane groups existing on a specified link
%   as given by the LaneRoadReferences layer object specified by layer.

numLinks = numel(layer.LinkLaneGroupReferences);
reference = repmat(struct('LinkId', {}, 'LaneGroupId', {}), numLinks, 1);

% Get references from links to lane groups
for idx = 1 : numLinks
    link = layer.LinkLaneGroupReferences(idx);
    laneGroups = vertcat(link.LaneGroupReferences.LaneGroupRef);

    reference(idx).LinkId = link.LinkLocalRef;
    reference(idx).LaneGroupId = [laneGroups(:).LaneGroupId]';

laneRoadReferenceTable = struct2table(reference);

helperGetLaneAttributes extracts lane attributes from a layer object in the form of a table.

function laneAttributesTable = helperGetLaneAttributes(layer)
%helperGetLaneAttributes Create a table with lane and boundary types
%   laneAttributesTable = helperGetLaneAttributes(layer) returns a table
%   formatted with the lane types and the lane boundary markings for each
%   lane group in the LaneAttributes layer object specified by layer.

for laneGroupAttrIndex = 1 : numel(layer.LaneGroupAttribution)
    laneGroup = layer.LaneGroupAttribution(laneGroupAttrIndex);
    attributes(laneGroupAttrIndex).LaneGroupId = laneGroup.LaneGroupRef; %#ok

    % Get lane types for each lane group
    for laneAttrIndex = 1 : numel(laneGroup.LaneAttribution)

        lane = laneGroup.LaneAttribution(laneAttrIndex);

        laneAttr = vertcat(lane.ParametricAttribution);
        laneAttr = vertcat(laneAttr.LaneParametricAttribution);

        for idx = 1 : numel(laneAttr)
            if ~isempty(laneAttr(idx).LaneType)
                attributes(laneGroupAttrIndex).Lanes{lane.LaneNumber} = ...

    % Get lane boundaries for each lane group
    for laneBoundaryIndex = 1 : numel(laneGroup.LaneBoundaryAttribution)
        laneBoundary = laneGroup.LaneBoundaryAttribution(laneBoundaryIndex);
        boundaries   = vertcat(laneBoundary.ParametricAttribution.LaneBoundaryParametricAttribution);

        attributes(laneGroupAttrIndex).LaneBoundaries{laneBoundary.LaneBoundaryNumber} = ...


laneAttributesTable = struct2table(attributes);

helperLoadCameraData loads a video reader and timestamps from folder.

function [videoReader, videoTime] = helperLoadCameraData(dirName)
%helperLoadCameraData Load camera images from folder in a timetable
%   [videoReader, videoTime] = helperLoadCameraData(dirName) loads a video
%   from the folder dirName. Timestamps for the video are read from a
%   MAT-file in the folder named timeStamps.mat.

if ~isfolder(dirName)
    error('Expected dirName to be a path to a folder.')

matFileName = fullfile(dirName, 'centerCameraTime.mat');
if exist(matFileName, 'file') ~= 2
    error('Expected dirName to have a MAT-file named centerCameraTime.mat containing timestamps.')

% Load the MAT-file with timestamps
ts = load(matFileName);
fieldNames = fields(ts);
Time = ts.(fieldNames{1});

videoFileName = fullfile(dirName, 'centerCamera.avi');
if exist(matFileName, 'file') ~= 2
    error('Expected dirName to have a video file named centerCamera.avi.')

% Load the video file
videoTime = timetable(Time);
videoReader = VideoReader(videoFileName);

See Also

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