3 min read

Yesterday, at the AWS re:Invent conference, Andy Jassy, CEO at Amazon Web Services introduced AWS DeepRacer and announced a global autonomous AWS DeepRacer racing league.

Amazon DeepRacer

AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale radio-controlled, self-driving four-wheel race car which has been designed to help developers learn about reinforcement learning. This car features a 4-megapixel camera with 1080p resolution, an Intel Atom processor, multiple USB ports, and a 2-hour battery. The car comes with a 4GB RAM and 32GB expandable storage. The compute battery is a 13600mAh USB-C PD. It is embedded with an accelerometer and gyroscope.

The console, simulator, and car are a great combination to experiment with RL algorithms and generalization methods. It includes a fully-configured cloud environment that users can use to train Reinforcement Learning models. This car also uses a camera to view the track and a reinforcement model to control throttle and steering.

AWS DeepRacer is integrated with Amazon SageMaker to take advantage of its new reinforcement learning model and with AWS RoboMaker in order to provide a 3D simulation environment. It is also integrated with Amazon Kinesis Video Streams for the video streaming of virtual simulation footage and Amazon S3 for model storage. It also comes with support for Amazon CloudWatch for log capture.

AWS DeepRacer League

The AWS DeepRacer League gives users an opportunity to compete in a global racing championship to advance to AWS DeepRacer Championship Cup at re:Invent 2019 and to probably win the AWS DeepRacer Cup. This league is categorized into 2 categories, live events, and virtual events.

Live Events

Developers can compete by submitting their already built or new reinforcement learning models to the virtual leaderboard for the Summit. The top ten champions will compete in live races on the track, using AWS DeepRacer. The summit winners and top performers across the races will qualify for the AWS DeepRacer Championship Cup. The AWS DeepRacer League will be launched in AWS Summit locations around the world, including Tokyo, London, Sydney, Singapore, and New York in early 2019.

Virtual events

Developers can build RL models and compete online using the AWS DeepRacer console. The virtual races will take place on the challenging tracks in the 3D racing simulator.

What is in store for the developers?

Learn reinforcement learning in a new way

AWS DeepRacer helps developers to get started with reinforcement learning by providing hands-on tutorials for training RL models and testing them in a fun way, with the car racing experience.

It is easy to get started quickly, anywhere

One can start training the model on the virtual track in minutes with the AWS DeepRacer console and 3D racing simulator irrespective of place or time.

Idea sharing

The DeepRacer League gives a platform to developers to meet fellow machine learning enthusiasts, online and also in-person to share ideas and insights. Also, it gives an opportunity to compete and win prizes. Developers will also get a chance to learn about reinforcement learning via workshops.

No need to manually set up a software environment

The 3D racing simulator and car provide an ideal environment for developers to test the latest reinforcement learning algorithms. With DeepRacer, developers don’t have to manually set up a software environment, simulator or configure a training environment.

Public reaction to AWS DeepRacer is mostly positive, however, a few have their doubts. Concerns range from  CPU time, SageMaker requirement, and shipping related queries.

To know more about this news, check out Amazon’s official blog.

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