The AWS DeepRacer League visits Hong Kong, bringing together developers of all skill levels!

The AWS DeepRacer League is the world’s first global autonomous racing league, open to anyone. Developers of all skill levels can compete in person at 22 AWS events globally, or online via the AWS DeepRacer console (no car required), for a chance to win an expenses paid trip to re:Invent 2019, where they will race to win the Championship Cup 2019.

The League visited Hong Kong this week. This was the final race in the Asia Pacific region in 2019, and it did not disappoint.

Attracting developers of all ages and skill levels

So far this season, the AWS DeepRacer League has brought together developers of all skill levels, backgrounds and ages to compete to win. More importantly they get to learn and explore machine learning. From those with a masters in artificial intelligence, to those with no prior experience in the field, the stories have been diverse and speak to how easy it is to get started with machine learning on AWS.

Hong Kong was no different. The winner was Peter Chong, another victor who came to the AWS Summit as part of a DeepRacer team. This time the team was not part of a corporation, they came as 6 students from Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE). Five of them placed in the top 10 and 2 of them scored a spot on the podium with times of 8.64 seconds (1st place) and 9.43 seconds (2nd place)!

They have been preparing for the race since AWS re:Invent 2018 with the help of Cyrus Wong, a Data Scientist who is one of the professors at IVE and is an AWS ML Community Hero. Cyrus and his students have been experimenting with AWS DeepRacer and recently shared their story with the community about how they were successful in having AWS DeepRacer drive in the dark; aka Midnight DeepRacer!

The team that he has been teaching had no prior machine learning experience, and the youngest is just 15 years old! They are also learning and building their cloud skills through the AWS Academy curriculum and plan to become AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associates later this year. You can learn more about their story and their journey to win the Hong Kong summit race on the blog post recently published by Cyrus.

Peter Chong, the winner says: “I was interested in machine learning before, but it was hard to understand how it works. The DeepRacer activity helps me understand and learn machine learning. My programming skills are not strong, but the last DeepRacer champion only wrote 30 lines of code, so I thought I could write the training code, as the players don’t have to be Machine Learning experts.”

Peter and the rest of the team are really excited about winning their chance to compete the AWS DeepRacer League Championship Cup at AWS re:Invent 2019 and plan to continue developing their code in the run up to the event in December.

Tips, Tricks and the AWS DeepRacer community

There are only 4 more races on the AWS DeepRacer Summit 2019 Circuit: July 11 – New York & Cape Town, August 29 – Mexico City, and the final AWS Summit race will take place October 3 in Toronto. Don’t forget the Virtual Circuit races run 24×7 all the way though to October- it’s all online via the AWS DeepRacer console, so no physical car is required to enter. The AWS DeepRacer community is growing in size, and more tips tricks and information about community discussion and meet ups can be found on the DeepRacer racing tips page. Take a drive through the Pit Lane today and fuel up ready to compete to win that trip to Vegas!

If you’re looking for other ways to learn machine learning check out the new Learn ML website where you’ll find a collection of content including the same ML courses used to train engineers at Amazon – available for free.


About the Author

Alexandra Bush is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for AWS AI. She is passionate about how technology impacts the world around us and enjoys being able to help make it accessible to all. Out of the office she loves to run, travel and stay active in the outdoors with family and friends.