Developer Mode

Some functionality of SVL Simulator is only available in Developer Mode, by opening the SVL Simulator source code as a project in Unity Editor.

The available functionality includes:

  • HD map annotation tool (tutorial)
  • Import/export of supported HD map formats
  • HD map mesh generation (tutorial)
  • Developing and building environments (tutorial)
  • Developing and building vehicles (tutorial)
  • Developing and building custom plugins (sensor plugin, controllable plugin)
  • Building custom simulator binary executables (tutorial)
  • Ability to customize vehicle dynamics with FMI

All other functionalities of SVL Simulator are available by running the binary executable and do not require Developer Mode.

Setup top#

There are a few steps needed to set up the development environment for Developer Mode, which is officially supported only on Windows. While much of the SVL Simulator Developer Mode functionality may work on Linux, we do not guarantee Developer Mode to be fully supported on Linux.

  1. Download and install Unity Hub (

    • Ubuntu: You may need to allow the downloaded AppImage to be run as an executable
      • Right-click the AppImage
      • Select Properties
      • Go to the Permissions tab
      • Check Allow executing file as program
      • Alternatively, in the terminal run sudo chmod +x UnityHub.AppImage
  2. Download and install Unity 2020.3.3f1 with Windows and Linux build support modules (

    • IMPORTANT include support for both Windows and Linux when installing Unity
    • (Optional) include support for Visual Studio for easier debugging
    • Unity Download Archive
    • Click the Unity Hub button to have Unity Hub handle the installation process
  3. Download and install Node.js

    • Version 12.13.0 LTS version is fine
  4. Make sure you have git-lfs installed before cloning this repository.

    • Instructions for installation are here
    • Verify installation with:

      $ git lfs install Git LFS initialized.

  5. Clone simulator from GitHub: $ git clone --single-branch Be sure to clone latest release branch, not master.

  6. Run Unity Hub

  7. In the Projects tab, click Add and select the folder that the Simulator was cloned to

  8. In the Installs tab, click Locate and choose the Unity launcher in the Unity2020.3.3f1 folder

  9. In the Projects tab, verify that the Simulator is using Unity Version 2020.3.3f1 from the dropdown

  10. Double-click the name of the project to launch Unity Editor

  11. If this is an updated Unity version, let Unity recompile shaders and then close Unity and open the project again.