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Volkswagen Uses Google Quantum Computer For Research

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Volkswagen to carry out traffic optimisation, material, and machine learning research on Google quantum computer

Car maker Volkswagen has joined forced with tech giant Google to carry out research into new technology,using a quantum computer.

The two are forming a partnership to “build up specialist knowledge together and to carry out practically oriented research.”

The areas the two firms will be researching are traffic optimisation, material simulations (especially for high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and new materials), and finally new machine learning processes which are needed for autonomous driving.

quantum-computer-internet-illos-660x433Quantum Partnership

Quantum computing is the much touted technology that promises a major breakthrough in processing power compared to conventional computer systems.

Indeed, quantum computing is seen as the next step forward for computers when analysing large quantities of data.

This is because Quantum computers offer a massive improvement over conventional computers because they make use of the fact that quantum systems exist in multiple states at the same time, an effect made famous by Schrodinger’s cat paradox, in which a cat sealed in a box away from all interactions can be simultaneously alive and dead.

The two companies revealed their partnership at the Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Both Google and Volkswagen will bring together teams of specialists to work together using a Google quantum computer.

Specifically, specialists from the Volkswagen Information Technology Centers (IT labs) in San Francisco and Munich will develop algorithms, simulations and optimisations together with the Google experts.

Google had entered the field of quantum computing back in 2014, after its Quantum Artificial Intelligence team partnered with a research team from the University of California at Santa Barbara, California.

Volkswagen

Real World Applications

“Quantum computing technology opens up new dimensions and represents the fast-track for future-oriented topics,” explained Martin Hofmann, Chief Information Officer of the Volkswagen Group.

“We at Volkswagen want to be among the first to use quantum computing for corporate processes as soon as this technology is commercially available,” Hoffman added. “Thanks to our cooperation with Google, we have taken a major step towards this goal.”

“Volkswagen has enormous expertise in solving important, real-world engineering problems, and it is an honor for us to collaborate on how quantum computing may be able to make a difference in the automotive industry,” said Hartmut Neven, Director of the Google Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

This collaboration will focus on research for practically applications.

It should be noted that Volkswagen has already had some success with quantum computing.

In March for example it completed its first successful research project on a quantum computer: a traffic flow optimisation for 10,000 taxis in the Chinese capital Beijing.

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