Amazon Web Services (AWS) is announcing the launch of the AWS DeepRacer Women’s League in Southeast Asia—a world first, according to the company. The league will comprise of virtual races across five cities in the ASEAN region, with the first chequered flag to happen on the 1st of August 2020 in Thailand. AWS says that the league will also help female students across the region to develop machine learning (ML) skills—which in turn, encourages diversity in the technology industry.
Essentially, the AWS DeepRacer is an autonomous, 1/18th scale race car that incorporates reinforcement learning (RL) to control throttle and steering, with mounted cameras also helping competitors view the track. What’s rather interesting here is that the league is open to anyone—even those of you who have “no prior knowledge” of ML.
There are a few conditions to enter, as per the name of the league: only female participants who are at least 17 years of age are allowed. Additionally, participants are required to be enrolled in a diploma/degree programme in the ASEAN region.
According to Tan Lee Chew, Managing Director for ASEAN, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS:
“By hosting the very first AWS DeepRacer League for women here in Southeast Asia, we are offering female students the opportunity to learn new skills in advanced cloud technology. Helping women build critical skills for a more diverse and future-ready workforce will help power Southeast Asian economies.”
AWS is also offering participants access to cloud technology resources via AWS Educate, with the Machine Learning Pathway course offering educational information on artificial intelligence (AI), ML, and deep learning. Ultimately, the idea behind DeepRacer is to explore the potential of technology to solve real-world (and larger) issues—including self-driving cars, and even natural language processing.
So, what’s there to win? Each country involved will have one winner each—Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. These winners will be awarded promotional credits from AWS that are worth USD300 (~RM1,275) each, and podium finishers will also be given a trophy as well. Each country’s top three racers will also take part in a grand finale—which will be held in September—with USD1,000 (~RM4,252) in credits, alongside other prizes, up for grabs.
For some context, the AWS DeepRacer car is priced at USD399 (~RM1,696), and there’s also a DeepRacer Evo which is priced at USD548 (~RM2,330). During the virtual races, participants will race their cars on a virtual simulator environment in real-time, with the ability to adjust the speed of the car during the race, as well as to swap between DeepRacer builds.
The first virtual race, as mentioned, will happen in Thailand on the 1st of August, followed by Malaysia on 8 August, Indonesia on 15 August, and the Philippines on the 22nd of August. Finally, the Singaporean race will be held on the 29th of August. If you’re keen to find out more about the AWS DeepRacer Women’s League, click here. Viewers can also watch the races live via AWS’ Twitch channel here.