Announcing: AWS DeepRacer League 2022 on-line and in person

Join thousands of contestants on the learning path and race for the knowledge, prizes, glory and friends in the exciting Reinforcement Learning powered tournament.

I’m Tomasz Ptak, a senior software engineer at Duco, an AWS Machine Learning Hero, a DeepRacer racer (named Breadcentric), a hobbyist baker and a leader of the AWS Machine Learning Community on Slack where we learn and race, and help each other start and grow our adventures in the cloud. Let me introduce this year’s AWS DeepRacer League season.

What is AWS DeepRacer?

AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale autonomous race car but also much more. It is a complete program that has helped thousands of employees in numerous organizations begin their educational journey into machine learning through fun and rivalry. 

AWS DeepRacer

Visit AWS DeepRacer page to learn more about how it can help you and your organization begin and progress the journey towards machine learning.

Join the AWS Machine Learning Community to talk to people who have used DeepRacer in their learning experience.

Red Rover shell

The post picture that you’re seeing is a shell that you can apply to your car to give it a more interesting look. After each race you will have an opportunity to win more shells and race in a new style!

But this one is special and there’s a story to it: At AWS re:Invent 2019 we ran an AWS DeepRacer Community Experts Bootcamp where people presented their learnings and projects related to DeepRacer. Elizabeth Varland has presented a Go-kart version of DeepRacer. You can watch it here:

I want to race now!

If you want to try out your models an a car sooner than the AWS Summit London (not a go-kart, sorry), on the 8th of February (yes, Tuesday next week) at 16:00 UK time there will be a live DeepRacer Underground race on the DeepRacer Twitch. Be sure to join the community Slack and channel #dr-underground to learn how to submit your model.

AWS DeepRacer League 2022

We’re still waiting for more details about the season itself but there are some bits of information that have already emerged and are pretty certain (understand it as: somebody told me):

  • The pre-season race is starting on the 1st of February and is the first opportunity to qualify into the Pro Division
  • Virtual League and Student League will take place
  • In person racing is back
  • Vegas Baby!

Pre-season race

We have a cool new track and a pre-season race starting on the first of February. It will be active for a whole month and top 10% racers will qualify into the Pro Division.

The Open and Pro Divisions will function just like last year: you need to first qualify to fight for a place in the finals. The only exception is the top three racers of 2021 who qualify into the Pro Division directly.

The Summit Speedway

The track is called The Summit Speedway. A few facts about it:

  • Inspired by The Circuit Paul Ricard
  • 25.23 meters in length

In the race total time counts and off-tracks result in a three seconds penalty.

Virtual League and Student League

While we don’t have the terms and conditions just yet, we should expect something similar to last year: eight months of racing in Open and Pro Divisions and a live Finale race for Championship qualifications.

As announced by Swami Sivasubramanian at the ML and Data Keynote at AWS re:Invent 2021, this year students will be given a whole new experience with DeepRacer through the AWS DeepRacer Student League. The great benefits of it include ability to race without the need to provide a payment method and the fact that the best racers from the student league will also qualify into the Championships. Just note: student league is separate from virtual and summit league (but you can try and qualify through more than one).

In person racing

Nothing will beat visiting the track. You can rock the virtual, chat away on Slack, but showing up with a model and burning rubber on a carpet while trying to get the track boss to fall over, having discussions about the strategies while trying to stay on top – that’s where the best part of DeepRacer lies.

In 2021 we’ve only had one race in person, where at the Caesar’s Forum Eric Morrison secured the first spot in the AWS DeepRacer Championships 2022 and the humble author of this post ended third.

We are still to know the dates but there will be races and there will be championship spots from them.

We do however know the track: it’s The Summit Speedway. Everyone who hopes to put it in their basements, make sure your house is at least 40×18 feet.

Join the race!

To those who return: Good to see you back!

To those new: Welcome!

To those who haven’t yet tried: Join us on Slack and on the track!

Let’s get racing!

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