AWS DeepRacer is a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car designed to teach developers machine learning (ML) concepts in a fun and engaging way. It is an excellent tool for beginners to get started with reinforcement learning (RL), a type of ML algorithm that learns by trial and error through interactions with an environment.

The car is equipped with a camera, which captures images of the track, and sensors that detect the car’s speed, position, and orientation. These inputs are processed by a neural network, which outputs actions that the car should take, such as accelerating or steering.

Developers can use the AWS DeepRacer console to create and train their own RL models using Amazon SageMaker RL. The console provides a simple interface for customizing hyperparameters, selecting reward functions, and evaluating the performance of the model.

AWS DeepRacer also has a community-driven aspect, with the DeepRacer League, a global racing competition where developers can compete against each other using their trained models. The league provides an opportunity for developers to showcase their skills, exchange ideas, and learn from each other.

Overall, AWS DeepRacer is an innovative and exciting way for developers to learn about RL and ML in a hands-on, practical way.


AWS DeepRacer is a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car designed to help developers learn and experiment with reinforcement learning (RL) techniques. RL is a type of machine learning that involves an agent learning to interact with its environment to achieve a specific goal. In the case of AWS DeepRacer, the goal is to learn how to navigate a race track as quickly as possible.

Reinforcement learning is an important area of study in artificial intelligence because it involves learning from experience, rather than being explicitly programmed. This makes it a promising technique for solving complex problems in areas such as robotics, gaming, and autonomous vehicles.

AWS DeepRacer offers several benefits for developers looking to gain experience with RL. It provides a physical platform for testing algorithms in a real-world setting, and it includes a software suite that simplifies the process of training and deploying models. Additionally, AWS DeepRacer offers a community of developers who share their experiences and insights, making it easier to learn and improve.

Getting Started with AWS DeepRacer

AWS DeepRacer is a service that allows you to get hands-on experience with machine learning (ML) through a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car driven by reinforcement learning (RL). Here are the steps to get started with AWS DeepRacer:

Setting up the AWS DeepRacer console

  1. First, you need an AWS account. If you don’t have one, sign up for a free account here.
  2. Next, log in to the AWS DeepRacer console.
  3. Choose the region you want to work in from the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the console.

Creating and configuring a virtual environment

  1. Once you’re in the console, create a new virtual environment by clicking on the “Environments” tab in the left-hand menu and then selecting “Create environment”.
  2. Give your environment a name and choose the instance type you want to use. The instance type determines the hardware that your training will run on.
  3. Configure your environment by choosing the framework you want to use (e.g. TensorFlow) and the optimizations you want to enable.
  4. Click “Create environment” to start your virtual environment.

Creating a training model

  1. Once your environment is created, click on the “Models” tab in the left-hand menu and select “Create model”.
  2. Give your model a name and choose the algorithm you want to use for training (e.g. Proximal Policy Optimization).
  3. Configure your model by specifying the number of episodes you want to train and the batch size you want to use.
  4. Click “Create model” to start training your model.

Setting up the reward function

  1. The reward function is a critical part of the training process. It defines the goal for the car to achieve during training.
  2. To create a reward function, click on the “Reward function” tab in the left-hand menu and select “Create reward function”.
  3. Give your reward function a name and start editing the code to define the behavior you want to reward and punish.
  4. Once you’ve created your reward function, it can be associated with a specific model.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to get started with AWS DeepRacer and begin training your own models.

Training Your Model

Reinforcement learning is a type of machine learning where an agent learns to interact with an environment in order to maximize rewards. In this process, the agent takes actions in the environment and receives feedback in the form of rewards or penalties. By repeating this process over and over again, the agent learns to take actions that lead to the highest rewards.

The training process in reinforcement learning involves selecting an appropriate algorithm and defining the reward function. The reward function is a way to measure the success of the agent’s actions. The algorithm then uses this feedback to adjust the agent’s behavior over time. The training process can take a long time, depending on the complexity of the environment and the number of iterations required to achieve optimal performance.

Tuning hyperparameters is an important step in the training process. Hyperparameters are the configuration settings for the algorithm, such as the learning rate and discount factor. These settings can greatly affect the performance of the agent, so it is important to experiment with different values to find the optimal combination.

Monitoring the training progress is also crucial, as it allows for adjustments to be made to the training process if necessary. Metrics such as the agent’s average reward or the convergence rate of the algorithm can be used to evaluate the performance of the agent and to determine if any changes need to be made to the algorithm or hyperparameters. It is important to continue monitoring the progress even after the agent has achieved optimal performance, as the environment may change over time and require further adjustments to the training process.

Evaluating Your Model

Once you have trained your model, it’s important to evaluate its performance to ensure that it is making accurate predictions. Here are some steps you can take to evaluate your model:

Testing your model in simulations

One way to test your model is to run it in simulations. AWS DeepRacer provides a simulation environment where you can test your model’s performance under different conditions. You can use the simulation environment to evaluate your model’s ability to navigate the track and make accurate predictions. You can also use the simulation environment to test your model’s performance under different weather conditions, such as rain or snow.

Analyzing training results with AWS DeepRacer console

Another way to evaluate your model is to analyze the training results using the AWS DeepRacer console. The console provides a dashboard that displays key performance metrics, such as the number of episodes completed, the reward function values, and the lap times. You can use these metrics to assess your model’s performance and identify areas for improvement.

Identifying areas for improvement

Based on the simulation and training results, you can identify areas where your model needs improvement. For example, if your model performs poorly on the curves of the track, you may need to adjust the reward function to encourage better performance in those areas. You may also need to adjust the hyperparameters, such as the learning rate or batch size, to improve your model’s performance. Once you have identified areas for improvement, you can retrain your model and repeat the evaluation process until you are satisfied with its performance.

Competing in the AWS DeepRacer League

Overview of the AWS DeepRacer League

The AWS DeepRacer League is a global competition that enables developers of all skill levels to get hands-on with machine learning (ML) through autonomous racing. The league provides a fun and engaging way to learn about ML, and to build and train reinforcement learning models using AWS DeepRacer. Participants can race virtually in the AWS DeepRacer console or in person at live events.

How to participate in the league

To participate in the AWS DeepRacer League, you will need an AWS account and access to an AWS DeepRacer vehicle. You can purchase a vehicle from the AWS DeepRacer console or build your own using the open-source software and hardware specifications provided by AWS. Once you have a vehicle, you can start training and testing your reinforcement learning model using the AWS DeepRacer console.

The AWS DeepRacer League consists of multiple rounds, including virtual time trials and in-person events. To compete in the league, you will need to submit a model that is trained on the virtual track and meets the minimum lap time requirement. The top performers will then be invited to participate in the in-person events, where they can showcase their skills and compete for prizes.

Tips for success in the league

To be successful in the AWS DeepRacer League, it is important to have a strong understanding of reinforcement learning and the AWS DeepRacer platform. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start with the basics: If you are new to reinforcement learning, start by learning the basics of the field, such as the difference between supervised and unsupervised learning, and how to train and test a model.
  • Practice, practice, practice: The more you train your model, the better it will perform. Start by training on the virtual track and gradually increase the difficulty level as you become more confident.
  • Collaborate with others: Join the AWS DeepRacer community to connect with other developers and learn from their experiences. You can also participate in group training sessions and share your models for feedback.
  • Optimize your hyperparameters: The hyperparameters of your model can have a significant impact on its performance. Experiment with different values for the hyperparameters, such as learning rate and batch size, to find the optimal settings.
  • Keep it simple: Don’t overcomplicate your model by adding too many layers or features. Start with a simple model and gradually add complexity as needed.
  • Stay up-to-date: The AWS DeepRacer platform is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest features and best practices. Follow the AWS DeepRacer blog and attend events to learn about new developments in the field.


In summary, AWS DeepRacer is an exciting and innovative tool for learning and practicing machine learning techniques. It provides a fun and interactive way to experiment with reinforcement learning algorithms, and the ability to compete with other developers in the AWS DeepRacer League offers a unique opportunity to showcase your skills and learn from others.

The potential applications of AWS DeepRacer are vast, ranging from autonomous vehicles to robotics and more. By leveraging the power of AWS, developers can access a wide range of tools and services to help them build and deploy their AI models.

If you’re interested in learning more about AWS DeepRacer, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. The AWS DeepRacer website offers a wealth of information, including tutorials, documentation, and training courses. Additionally, the AWS DeepRacer Community provides a forum for developers to connect, share ideas, and collaborate on projects.

Overall, AWS DeepRacer is a valuable tool for anyone interested in exploring the capabilities of AI and machine learning. With its user-friendly interface and supportive community, developers can easily get started and begin building their own autonomous racing models.