Create your car application

If you are not already, please ssh into your vehicle.

Create Donkeycar from Template

Create a set of files to control your Donkey with this command:

donkey createcar --path ~/mycar

See also more information on createcar.

Configure Options

Look at in your newly created directory, ~/mycar

cd ~/mycar

Each line has a comment mark. The commented text shows the default value. When you want to make an edit to over-write the default, uncomment the line by removing the # and any spaces before the first character of the option.





when edited. You will adjust these later in the calibrate section.

Configure I2C PCA9685

If you are using a PCA9685 card, make sure you can see it on I2C.

Jetson Nano:

sudo usermod -aG i2c $USER
sudo reboot

After a reboot, then try:

sudo i2cdetect -r -y 1

Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt-get install -y i2c-tools
sudo i2cdetect -y 1

This should show you a grid of addresses like:

     0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f
00:          -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
10: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
20: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
30: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
40: 40 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
50: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
60: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
70: 70 -- -- -- -- -- -- --

In this case, the 40 shows up as the address of our PCA9685 board. If this does not show up, then check your wiring to the board. On a pi, ensure I2C is enabled in menu of sudo raspi-config (notice, it suggest reboot).

If you have assigned a non-standard address to your board, then adjust the address in the under variable PCA9685_I2C_ADDR. If your board is on another bus, then you can specify that with the PCA9685_I2C_BUSNUM.

Jetson Nano: set PCA9685_I2C_BUSNUM = 1 in your . For the pi, this will be auto detected by the Adafruit library. But not on the Jetson Nano.

Sombrero Setup

Set HAVE_SOMBRERO = True in your if you have a sombrero board.

Robo HAT MM1 Setup

Set HAVE_ROBOHAT = True in your if you have a Robo HAT MM1 board.

The Robo HAT MM1 uses a RC Controller and CircuitPython script to drive the car during training. You must put the CircuitPython script onto the Robo HAT MM1 with your computer before you can continue.

  1. Download the CircuitPython Donkey Car Driver for Robo HAT MM1 to your computer from here
  2. Connect the MicroUSB connector on the Robo HAT MM1 to your computer's USB port.
  3. A CIRCUITPY device should appear on the computer as a USB Storage Device
  4. Copy the file downloaded in Step 1 to the CIRCUITPY USB Storage Device. Rename the file
  5. Unplug USB Cable from the Robo HAT MM1 and place on top of the Raspberry Pi, as you would any HAT.

You may need to enable the hardware serial port on your Raspberry Pi. On your Raspberry Pi...

  1. Run the command sudo raspi-config
  2. Navigate to the 5 - Interfaceing options section.
  3. Navigate to the P6 - Serial section.
  4. When asked: Would you like a login shell to be accessible over serial? NO
  5. When asked: Would you like the serial port hardware to be enabled? YES
  6. Close raspi-config
  7. Restart

Joystick setup

If you plan to use a joystick, take a side track over to here.

Camera Setup

Raspberry Pi:

If you are on a raspberry pi and using the recommended pi camera, then no changes are needed to your

Jetson Nano:

When using a Sony IMX219 based camera, and you are using the default car template, then you will want edit your to have: CAMERA_TYPE = "CSIC". For flipping the image vertically set CSIC_CAM_GSTREAMER_FLIP_PARM = 3 - this is helpful if you have to mount the camera in a rotated position. Set IMAGE_W = 224 and also IMAGE_H = 224.

CVCAM is a camera type that has worked for USB cameras when OpenCV is setup. This requires additional setup for OpenCV for Nano or OpenCV for Raspberry Pi.

WEBCAM is a camera type that uses the pygame library, also typically for USB cameras. That requires additional setup for pygame.


If you are having troubles with your camera, check out our Discourse FAQ for hardware troubleshooting. Check this forum for more help.

Keeping Things Up To Date

Make all config changes to and they will be preserved through an update. If you are a long time user, you might be used to editing You should switch to editing instead. Later on, when changes occur that you would like to get, you can pull latest code, then issue a:

cd projects/donkeycar
git pull
donkey createcar --path ~/mycar --overwrite

Your ~/mycar/, ~/mycar/ and other files will change with this operation, but will not be touched. Your data and models dirs will not be touched.

Note: If you are updating from Donkey<3.0 to 3.0+ it is very likely you will need to start over with a new virtual environment. We've had a few users hit this snag.

Next calibrate your car.