Real-World Cars - Software

Vive Tracking

  1. Turn on at least 4 lighthouses at the power adapter (check green LED) lighthouse
  2. Turn on fixed reference tracker and then plug in power (after green LED) lighthouse
  3. Place glasses in center on some box, facing the ceiling (press blue button on connector box if no green light) lighthouse
  4. Turn on tracker on the car (or the mapping device): On the car, first unplug its power connection (either tracking OR charging), then press its button until green LED lights up. A flashing red LED denotes the need for charging. lighthouse
  5. Login on freicar-base
  6. Start standalone Steam as a background process
  7. Please ignore all warnings and errors issued by Steam.
  8. Start SteamVR → check 4 lighthouses, glasses, reference tracker and the number of car-wise trackers

Network Setup


The following describes sets up the ROS master and explains how to publish tracked cars.

  1. Optionally, check that the ROS_IP and ROS_MASTER_URI are set:
  2. echo $ROS_IP →
  3. echo $ROS_MASTER_URI →
  4. Start a roscore
  5. Start GT tracking: rosrun freicar_vr_tracking
  6. Restart if a new car was added
  7. IDs of trackers are set in: freicar_vr_tracking/param/reserved_trackers.yaml
  8. To visualize the trackers, run rviz in the docker with the default config: fccrviz

Student Computers

This lets you view published topics wrt. the ROS master that is running on freicar-base.

  1. Start/attach to docker: fcc / fct
  2. export ROS_MASTER_URI=
  3. export ROS_IP=IP_OF_STUD_COMPUTER (check ifconfig)
  4. Check with rostopic list that you can connect to the master running on freicar-base
  5. To visualize the trackers, run rviz with the default config: rviz


The following details how to authenticate cars in the ROS network for listening and publishing.

  1. SSH from a student computer to a car via ssh freicar@freicarX (name of car). If no SSH connection is possible, please check that the car is connected to the SSID freicar_5g (connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse)
  2. Wifi: freicar_5g, password: *, Router IP: (admin/admin)
  3. Start/attach to docker: fcc / fct (optionally start a tmux session before)
  4. export ROS_MASTER_URI=
  5. export ROS_IP=192.168.140.XX (different for every car, e.g. .36 for freicar6 -> use ifconfig on car) (ROS_MASTER_URI is necessary for listening, ROS_IP for publishing a topic)

Test Setup

  1. Always remember to use a terminal where ROS_MASTER_URI and ROS_IP have been exported before for the following.
  2. Launch sensors on car roslaunch freicar_launch start_sensors.launch name:=freicar_X (X is the number of your car)
  3. Start rviz on student computer, add respective topics and check for validity.