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The NIST Road Network Database: Version 1.0



Craig I. Schlenoff, Stephen B. Balakirsky, Tony Barbera, Christopher J. Scrapper Jr, Jerome G. Ajot, Eric Hui


For an autonomous vehicle to be able to navigate a road network, it must be aware of and must respond appropriately to any object it encounters. This includes other vehicles, pedestrians, debris, construction, accidents, emergency vehicles, ? and it also includes the roadway itself. The road network must be described in such a way that an autonomous vehicle knows, with sufficient precision and accuracy, where the road lies, rules dictating the traversal of intersections, lane markings, road barriers, road surface characteristics, and other relevant information. The purpose of this document is to provide detailed information about the Road Network Database being developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as part of the DARPA Mobile Autonomous Robotics Systems (MARS) Program. The purpose of the Road Network Database is to provide the data structures necessary to capture all of the information necessary about road networks so that a planner or control system on an autonomous vehicle can plan routes along the roadway at any level of abstraction.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7136
Report Number


autonomous navigation, database, Knowledge Engineering, Mobility, MySQL, on-road driving, relational database, Robotics & Intelligent Systems


Schlenoff, C. , Balakirsky, S. , Barbera, T. , Scrapper Jr, C. , Ajot, J. and Hui, E. (2004), The NIST Road Network Database: Version 1.0, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created July 29, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021