Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

VW, Google Pair Up to Use Quantum Computers

Nellie Chapman | 09 November, 2017, 20:06

Google's aim is more ambitious, as demonstrated by its compiler work.

The German automaker and the tech juggernaut will focus on traffic optimization, artificial intelligence and EV battery development.

Google will be providing access to powerful devices that use the principles of quantum mechanics to process information in a wider variety of ways than a conventional computer, which uses just a binary system to identify data. Specifically, the two companies want to look at using ultrafast quantum computers to manage traffic, develop new materials for cars, and enhance machine learning.

In addition, another application would be the car's AI - with deeper understanding of machine learning, autonomous cars would be savvier, a quantum autonomous vehicle might be able to asses any situation on spot and decide live on the best course of action.

Quantum computing, a technology that's still in its early phases, uses the quirks of quantum physics to perform calculations at far higher speeds than current computers.

"Quantum computing technology opens up new dimensions and represents the fast-track for future-oriented topics", said Volkswagon's CIO Martin Hofmann in a statement. "Thanks to our cooperation with Google, we have taken a major step towards this goal".

"We at Volkswagen want to be among the first to use quantum computing for corporate processes as soon as this technology is commercially available". These include urban traffic guidance systems, available electric charging stations or vacant parking spaces. This architecture is suitable for many experimental computing operations.

An additional area of study for the VW/Google collaboration will be simulating and optimizing the structures needed to develop high-performance batteries for electric cars. AI research has many uses, and could also be used to develop smarter infrastructure or even new in-vehicle features such as Alexa-like digital assistants. VW claims that will be important to autonomous driving, a technology both it and Google are developing. In March 2017, Volkswagen announced its first successful research project completed on a quantum computer: a traffic flow optimisation for 10.000 taxis in the Chinese capital Beijing.