818. Race Car LeetCode Solution | Easy Approach

Minimum Cost to Merge Stones
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Race Car Your car starts at position 0 and speed +1 on an infinite number line. Your car can go into negative positions. Your car drives automatically according to a sequence of instructions 'A' (accelerate) and 'R' (reverse):

  • When you get an instruction 'A', your car does the following:
    • position += speed
    • speed *= 2
  • When you get an instruction 'R', your car does the following:
    • If your speed is positive then speed = -1
    • otherwise speed = 1
    Your position stays the same.

For example, after commands "AAR", your car goes to positions 0 --> 1 --> 3 --> 3, and your speed goes to 1 --> 2 --> 4 --> -1.

Given a target position target, return the length of the shortest sequence of instructions to get there.

Example 1:

Input: target = 3
Output: 2
Explanation: 
The shortest instruction sequence is "AA".
Your position goes from 0 --> 1 --> 3.

Example 2:

Input: target = 6
Output: 5
Explanation: 
The shortest instruction sequence is "AAARA".
Your position goes from 0 --> 1 --> 3 --> 7 --> 7 --> 6.

Constraints:

  • 1 <= target <= 104

Race Car Solutions

Time: O(n)
Space: O(n)

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