How Could Quantum Computing Drive Success in Autonomous Industry?

Autonomous Cars

Quantum computing is going to become an innovative breakthrough in automotive

The rapid research and development that has already taken place in quantum computing is astounding. The automotive industry has been following these developments as this technology proved to be beneficial to deliver innovation. Unlike conventional computers, quantum computers are much faster and smarter in terms of computation. It is anticipated that quantum computing could add billions in value to automotive, with applications in route optimization, materials research, and others.

As quantum computing provides computational improvements that could boost capabilities across the value chain, many OEMs and tier-one suppliers have already begun exploring the technology’s ability to benefit the industry. They are also inspecting it to resolve some of the existing issues, such as route optimization, fuel-cell optimization, and material durability.

According to McKinsey, many automakers are showcasing the first pilot use cases. Volkswagen, for instance, teamed up with D-Wave to demonstrate a traffic management system to optimize the individual travel routes of nine public-transit buses during the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. German tier-one supplier Bosch acquired a stake in Zapata Computing, contributing to a US$21 million Series A investment in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based quantum startup.


Quantum Computers to Impact Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous vehicles are typically considered as Level 4 and Level 5. However, a car that requires a human intervention to co-share the driving effort is usually considered at a Level 2 or Level 3. And these ones are semi-autonomous cars, typically involving a variety of automated add-ons that are referred to as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Leveraging quantum computing for Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving cars can be advantageous. As these cars comprise Over-The-Air electronic communications capabilities, to get system updates for the on-board AI system from the cloud, the computational effort of machine learning plays a crucial role, making a large number of computational cycles. But it could be time-consuming and expensive as well. This is where quantum computing comes into the picture.

In quantum computing, machines work with the physical properties of matter, such as superposition or entanglement. This means that calculations can be performed on several states of matter at the same time, minimizing drastically the computation time. As we have already seen the technology’s ability in traffic route optimization with the Volkswagen-D-Wave partnership above, it is also capable of solving the problem of diesel delivery to vehicles. It significantly lessens vehicles’ harmful pollutants and ensures that their drive cycles are optimal. In this way, Ford Motor Company in 2018 began the exploration with the next-generation annealing technology, using NASA’s quantum computers in its autonomous car research consistent with a Space Act Agreement.

Moreover, to develop specialist knowledge and facilitate practically oriented research, Volkswagen Group and Google announced comprehensive research cooperation in the field of quantum computing. As part of the collaboration, Volkswagen Group seeks to make progress in three development areas on the Google quantum computer. The group aims to continue the development of traffic optimization, explore structures for new materials, especially high-performance batteries for electric vehicles, and work on AI with new machine learning processes.

Considering such developments, it is clear that quantum computing will have a significant influence on autonomous cars, solving certain highly complex tasks considerably faster than conventional supercomputers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top
Browse Categories