AWS DeepRacer is a fun way to learn reinforcement learning


Amazon Web Services (AWS) today introduced DeepRacer, a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car that is a fun and fast way to get started with reinforcement learning. The race car costs USD399 but can be pre-ordered for USD249. The leading cloud computing company also announced AWS DeepRacer League, the world’s first global autonomous racing league.

At AWS re:Invent, CEO Andy Jassy said DeepRacer is the best way to go “hands-on” to learn about Reinforcement Learning (RL).

RL is an advanced machine learning (ML) technique that takes a different approach to training models than other machine learning methods.

The amazing thing about RL is that it learns complex behaviours without requiring any labelled training data, and can make short term decisions while optimising for a longer term goal.

AWS DeepRacer was designed to give everyone to get a hands-on with RL, experiment, and learn through autonomous driving.

The race car boasts a dual-core Intel Atom processor, a 4MP FHD video camera, fast Wi-Fi (802.11ac), multiple USB ports, accelerometer, gyroscrope, and two batteries (2-hour battery life) housed in an all-wheel drive, monster truck chassis.

It runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Robot Operating System, and the Intel OpenVino computer vision toolkit.

The racer includes a fully-configured cloud environment that lets you train your Reinforcement Learning models.

It takes advantage of the new RL feature in Amazon Sagemaker. It also includes a 3D simulation environment powered by AWS RoboMaker.

You can train an autonomous driving model against a collection of predefined race tracks included with the simulator. You can then evaluate them virtually, or download them to a AWS DeepRacer car and verify performance in the real world.

You can pre-order a unit today and sign up to be part of the preview at

AWS also announced the first AWS DeepRacer League, to kick off at re:Invent over the next 24 hours at AWS DeepRacer workshops and at the MGM Speedway in Las Vegas.

There will be six main tracks (and a pit area for each), a hacker garage, two extra tracks that you can use for training and experimentation.

From 11.30AM to 10PM, 28 November, every lap time will be entered into the Speedway Leaderboard.

The top 3 developers with the fastest times of the day will advance to the 2018 grand finale where they will compete to become AWS DeepRacer 2018 Champion.

The final race will take place at the AWS re:Invent International Speedway at 8A on Thursday, 29 November 2018.

In 2019, there will be a series of live racing events at AWS Global Summits around the world. There will also be virtual events and tournaments throughout the year.

Winners and top scores will advance to the AWS DeepRacer 2019 Championship Cup at re:Invent 2019.

For more info, visit

Follow AWS re:Invent updates here: and follow the official hashtag #reInvent

AT - Trapo

By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.