AWS DeepRacer League Update #20 June Finale Special

Here we go again, sixteen racers clash to fight for three places in the championships during the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. This month it was even more competitive than in May.

The difference between the first and sixteenth racer was less than 5 seconds this month. The track encouraged some fast racing but then fast bots in the main race were quite a bit of a nuisance and could easily block the car from going faster.

DeepRacer News

AWS Machine Learning NanoDegree Scholarship Program at Udacity

Udacity and AWS invite you to participate in the scholarship program where you can be given access to a Machine Learning NanoDegree teaching various aspects of working with machine learning and deploying it in production. Registrations have been extended till 12th of July. See the details.

AWS DeepRacer Live Community Races

If you’re enjoying the races in during finale events, you can now organise them yourself. All you need to do is create a new community race in the AWS DeepRacer Console and select “LIVE race” as the format. Just note that the race is available for four hours only and shuts down after that time.

Just be careful where your boxes land, you might not like them!

July Races

Old races end, new races start. This month tracks offer a mixture of long straights and brutal turns. Interestingly, this month it’s three cold-start laps, not a continuous laps race!

Baja Turnpike July track for AWS DeepRacer League Open Division (Source: AWS DeepRacer Console)

Visit the AWS DeepRacer Console to join the fun!.

The race format

Cosmic Circuit Pro (Source: AWS DeepRacer Console)
  • 62.24 meters long
  • 107 centimeters wide
  • Object avoidance format with five boxes on the track
  • Racers are trying to complete as many laps as possible, the fastest lap counts
  • Each collision and each driving off the track results in a three seconds penalty
  • Top 3 qualify into the championships during the AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas
  • Top 10 (who haven’t won it just yet) win an AWS DeepRacer EVOs
  • The track is divided into three sectors and in the stream they have colours assigned: green means the fastest time for a given racer so far, purple is the fastest time across all racers and yellow means slower than the fastest time for that sector for a given racer

Stream recording

You can watch the whole race recording with a commentary and interviews by Blaine Sundrud and Ryan Myrehn:

Round one

Rober has opened the finale cautiously and with two resets for a lap o 35.333 seconds. In the second lap he had two resets again and posted similar time, no improvement. In the third lap he got stuck at box three with six resets and a lap over 53 seconds. Lap four started well but then two more resets in sector one and a few more in sector two and three. This one was incomplete and 35.333 is his time for now.

Breadcentric started rather shakily. Two sectors and two resets, and his opening lap was at 31.249 seconds. Second lap was not looking better with four more resets and a time in the area of 39 seconds. In third lap the car reset to restart on the inside lane before a right turn with a box on the other lane which made the car go off track repetitively. This was not the worst time but definitely far from a seat on a plane to Las Vegas.

Ernesto has shown great laps in previous months. He started lap one with a reset and another in sector two. Still, that was enough for a lap of 30.027 for a first place for now. That doesn’t seem like the most this model can show. Second lap had two resets again and brought no improvement. Third lap brought a clean run and 23.469 will likely be competitive in this race. Fourth lap involved a reset in a second and third and no improvement. Fifth was clean but just not fast enough and sixth involved a reset. Ernesto jumped to first for now.

Yoway-NYCU-CGI has started with a decent run through sector one and a reset in second, still, a good time of 26.491 seconds. Second lap was clean and really fast with 22.298 seconds. Third lap involved some impressive drifting but that is not what you want in DeepRacer, no improvement. Fourth and fifth laps involved resets and brought no improvement. Yoway has shown what NYCU students do best and jumped into first.

RobinCastro has returned into the finale after a short break. He started pretty quickly but suffered a reset in the second sector. Still 28.658 is currently third time. Second lap was clean with three green sectors and a time of 23.670, just behind Ernesto. Third lap was looking good in two sectors and faced a reset in the third. Fourth lap was clean but slower than the best. Fifth lap was again smooth but slow, over 24 seconds. In sixth he’s managed to shave a few milliseconds and levelled with Ernesto’s 23.469. It’s the first time we’ve had such a case.

SorinB is a new racer, he started racing in 2021 and has the first attempt in the Finale. First lap started promising but experienced three resets and the first lap at 40.599 seconds. In second lap he’s had five resets. Third lap went much better and Sorin has managed to go down to 27.284 seconds currently fourth behind Yoway, Ernesto and Robin. In the next laps Sorin tried but hasn’t managed to improve. That’s a good time for the first time.

Yi-LI-NYCU-CGI started with some serious speed and impressive stability. The first lap went clean with 24.081, currently fourth. Second lap suffered from a few resets. Same happened in third and fourth lap. I think Yi-LI has tried pushing the speed which brings risk to stability. In the fifth lap he got stuck on box number one. I like it how each struggling racer has their own Box of Doom this month. That’s not enough for Las Vegas for now.

TonyJ has entered the first Finale of this season but he’s nothing close to a rookie. Started racing in 2018 and carried on since. In first lap he had a single reset and a time of 27.626, currently sixth spot. In second lap a few crashes on box two slowed him down but he managed to recover. Lap three was a replay of lap. Tony will have to wait for the second round to improve.

Duckworth has been taking part in all Finales so far. First lap pretty stable and with zero resets 25.594 seconds. Second lap was also stable but not faster in any sector. Same thing in lap three and a few resets in fourth and fifth mean no improvement just yet. Sixth lap started with fastest first and second sector, same in third and 23.772 seconds put him in fourth. Very decent time but not fast enough just yet.

AJM-Model-1 opened up nicely in first two sectors but he had a reset in third and clocked a lap of 27.984 seconds. Second lap was super clean and 23.205 put him in second for now. Third lap had another reset and brought no improvement. Fourth was just under 24 seconds but not fast enough but opened purple in the first sector. Sadly a reset means that will not give improvement. Last lap started well but a reset denied his chances to improve.

AIDeepRacer started briskly but had a reset in the second sector and completed the lap at 30.525 seconds. Next lap had three resets and a time in the area of 37 seconds. Third lap was just under 37 seconds. AIDeepRacer was getting resets in every lap. The time is just not fast enough to fight for Vegas.

dartjason had a tricky start and clocked 53.922 seconds. Second lap looked much better and with 22.869 Jason jumped into second place. Third was really good as well but over 23 seconds and then a reset in fourth. The good things about a generally fast model is that you get more chances to improve. Or waste. More resets around Box One have blocked Jason but despite that 22.869 means Jason reached the second spot. It’s pretty impressive that there was less than two seconds gap between the first and seventh racers at this moment.

ZhengYi-NYCU-CGI was the fastest NYCU student to qualify. He started with a single reset and 26.816 seconds have put him in the eighth spot. Another reset and a slight improvement of 26.150 in second. Third lap was clean and time of 23.150 put him in the third spot for now. Some resets in fourth, fifth and sixth lap but the final time is pretty good.

GT-DevelopersIO returned after a month’s break. Two months ago he finished fourth, just a fraction of a second behind the last ticket to Vegas. After a single reset he opened his first run with 30.937. Another reset in second but the time goes down to 29.734 seconds. In the last lap GT has almost managed a clean lap but with a single reset couldn’t improve.

JPMC-TeamOne-BuenosAires is another rookie who qualified into the Pro Division in May. Well done! Looks like Box Three didn’t like his story and started blocking him from progressing to complete the first lap. TeamOne may go for a reset record of this round. He ended at 40 resets and that was the first racer with DNF.

rosscomp1 was the best qualifier in June. First lap with two resets completed at 33.098. Looks like Box Three earned the June Box Of Doom title. 34 resets and a fourteenth place in round one. Let’s see if things improve in round two.

Let’s see how the results are looking after round one:

AWS DeepRacer League 2021 June Finale standings after round one

Round two

Racers need to be present to submit their models again, if they aren’t around, their first round lap counts.

Yoway-NYCU-CGI started round to as we’ve had a bit of a mix up in the order. His first lap completed at 28.661 seconds and second was a bit slower. Third lap however had a purple sector one. With a reset in sector two he went down to 27.726 and then 23.049 in the next lap which is already time in a podium range. Then followed two more slower laps and Yoway finished the show with an overall best time of 22.298. Now he had to wait for the others to know if it stays this way.

JPMC-TeamOne-BuenosAires returned to the track with a goal of completing a lap this time. Started nice in two sectors and third as well. Zero resets and the time of 22.919 means TeamOne entered the podium! Next two laps got a few resets but it’s the fast one lap that matters. And laps are getting completed. Another lap came in with 22.138 which put him in the first! Now that’s impressive. Even more that now the car got stuck at Box Three again. That’s an old last racer and a new leader!

Rober started cautiously but hit the Box of Doom again. Unfortunately the model had it’s inference set on that box. Maybe we should have damage points for the boxes so that they disappear? Unfortunately round two has not brought any complete laps.

rosscomp1 was certainly hoping to improve after his first spot in the main race. First lap was clean in first two sectors and after one reset in third he managed to improve with 26.988 seconds and go up to tenth spot. A few resets in next laps were mixed with other impressive sectors including purple ones meant he wasn’t able to improve. His last flying lap was looking very promising but he crashed into a box on the last straight and the time improved but only to 26.406.

Breadcentric returned to the track with appetite for more, I mean less, on the clock. First lap started pretty fast but had an off-track in sector two ending with 27.905 seconds. Second lap with two resets had just over 29 seconds time. Third lap saw one reset and was completed in 26.521 seconds. Then came a disaster in fourth with the car stuck on box three, luckily only for three resets and allowing the car to attempt another lap or two. Then came an incredible lap: green in sector one, yellow in sector two but then green in sector three and with 22.335 seconds Breadcentric entered the podium in third, just 0.037 seconds behind Yoway! This turned out to be the last one and Breadcentric had entered the hot seat and had to wait for nine more contestants to challenge his hopes.

GT-DevelopersIO started cautiously again and with two resets completed the first lap in 34.754 seconds, then with a single reset managed to go down to 29.281. Third lap was also pretty solid but with a reset ended just a bit slower. Sadly next laps included too many resets to bring more improvement. Until the last one when the car managed to cross the line in 26.801 seconds which has been the closing time for GT-DevelopersIO’s round two

AIDeepRacer started fast but with a single reset completed the first lap in 30.213 seconds. Unfortunately the laps to follow were plagued with resets and the first round time of 29.369 seconds becomes his final time.

TonyJ started safe and stable and reached 24.514 seconds. Second lap had some resets in there but still managed to complete in around 30 seconds. Lap three was the an even better lap with zero resets and the total time of 23.236. Two more resets in fourth and another flying lap followed with a total time 22.396, just 0.061 seconds difference. Tony had a few more resets in the last time. With this incredible result he has jumped into fourth spot. So close!

SorinB returned to try and improve. He started the lap cautiously but has had to surrender to the Box of Doom. Luckily only three times and then two more off-tracks to complete a lap of 44.843. If I can say something about slow, slow is much better than stuck on a box but not as good as competitive. Despite more resets SorinB managed to reduce the time to 36.032 seconds. Unfortunately with more resets that’s where SorinB has ended. Decent result for the first Finale!

Yi-LI-NYCU-CGI has hit Box of Doom in his first lap again but managed to recover and complete a lap in 54.372 seconds. Second lap had fewer resets and went down to 30.899 seconds. Third lap was clean and went down to 24.237 seconds and then fourth completed around 27 seconds. Fifth had a few more resets and completed at 38 seconds. This was a decent run but not fast enough this month.

RobinCastro started pretty well with the first lap of 31.648 and then managed to go down to 23.798 before getting a few resets and a slow race. Robin has improved in all three sectors in the next lap and went down to 23.138 and ahead of Ernesto and ZhengYi. His last lap was slightly slower and that’s a great finish and a bit of improvement for Robin.

AJM-Model-1 took his time to talk to Ryan moments before his turn. He started well with a good run in two sectors but two resets in the third and a time of 31.461. Second lap was clean and moved AJM into fifth with 22.537 seconds. Third, fourth, fifth and sixth lap had a few resets so no improvement. It was a great attempt but he’ll need to keep going.

ZhengYi-NYCU-CGI started nicely in sectors one and two but Box Five got hit and the first lap ended at 27.963. Second lap was clean and 23.125 is great time, but not enough just yet. Unfortunately a few resets mean lap three had a time in the are of 48 seconds. Lap four was clean however and down to 22.531 which puts him currently in fifth. A few resets in the fifth lap and too slow. Last chance for a flying lap was denied by a reset on the last straight and around 27 seconds ended ZhengYi’s run.

dartjason started his last chance to win the ticket to Vegas for the championships. He started really fast and opened up with 22.521 which puts him in fifth spot. Two resets in second lap, third lap great but just too slow. In fourth lap there was a reset again and time was around 24 seconds. Fifth lap started fast in sector one and slower in second but then an off-track in sector three. Sixth lap: great opening sector but then he hit a box again. He had a chance for one flying lap and a reset!

Here are the final standings:

PlaceRacerTime 1Time 2Final
AWS DeepRacer League 2021 June Finale standings after round two, Championship qualifiers in bold

These are wonderful results, just look at it, the difference between 1st and 8th place is exactly one second! More than that, the difference between 1st and 7th place is 0.399 seconds. This was a very close fight and spectacular results.

Congratulations to JPMC-TeamOne-BuenosAires who are joining their colleagues from JPMC with their ticket to Las Vegas. Well done to Yoway-NYCU-CGI who has opened the door for his fellow students, hopefully they will join him soon. And finally, a humble bravo to me.

If you haven’t done so, join the AWS Machine Learning Community and race with us for the ultimate bragging rights with AWS DeepRacer. Follow the blog for regular updates from the races and other news about DeepRacer.

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