Add a new map

Users of CARLA can create custom maps and use them to run simulations. There are several ways to import custom maps in CARLA. The method to be used will depend on if the map is destined to be used in a packaged version of CARLA or in a version built from source. This section serves as a guide to direct you to the correct method.


Follow the links to go directly to the relevant guide or read on futher for a brief summary of the steps involved in the ingestion process:

  1. Export from RoadRunner
  2. Import into source build version of CARLA
  3. Import into package version of CARLA
  4. Alternative methods to import maps

You can also watch the following video to see an explanation of the various methods:

Export from RoadRunner

RoadRunner is the recommended software to create a map due to its simplicity. We provide a guide on how to export maps made in RoadRunner so they are ready for import into CARLA.

Ingest the map in CARLA

This is where the route splits in two:

  • If you are using CARLA built from source, follow the guide here.
  • If you are using a packaged (binary) version of CARLA, follow the guide here.

Regardless of the method used, there are some common themes involved in the ingestion process:

  • Package .json file and folder structure. Map packages have a particular folder structure and this structure is described in a .json file. This file is automatically created during the import process if it is not provided by the user. If you prefer to provide the .json file yourself, check the alternative methods guide for an outline on how to do this.
  • Traffic signs and traffic lights. The simulator will generate the traffic lights, stops and yields automatically when running. These will be created according to their .xodr definition. Any other landmarks present in the map will not be physically on scene, but they can be queried using the API.
  • Pedestrian navigation. The ingestion process will generate a .bin file describing the pedestrian navigation. It is based on the sidewalks and crosswalks that appear in the .xodr definition. This can only be modified if working in a build from source.

Alternative import methods

We provide a section that details alternative methods of importing maps to CARLA that involve the use of plugins or performing each step manually. You will find those methods here.


If you have any questions about the process to create and import a new map into CARLA, feel free to post these in the forum.