In an interesting development Volkswagen and Google have announced comprehensive research cooperation in the field of quantum computing. The announcement was made at the technology conference “Web Summit 2017” (Lisbon). The two companies will explore the utilization of quantum computers together.
Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize our world, quantum computers use quantum mechanical phenomena like superimposition and entanglement to perform operations on data, unlike the present computers it uses quantum bits. Quantum computers can solve certain highly complex tasks considerably faster than conventional supercomputers. In some cases, a solution will only be possible with quantum computers. Volkswagen Group is the first automotive company in the world to be working on this technology.
As part of this collaboration, a team of specialists from Volkswagen and Google will work together using a Google quantum computer in three specific areas:
- Development of traffic optimization under which they are building on the research project which they have already successfully completed and now want to consider additional variables in addition to reducing travelling times. These include urban traffic guidance systems, available electric charging stations or vacant parking spaces.
- Explore structures for new materials, especially high-performance batteries for electric vehicles, and
- To work on artificial intelligence with new machine learning processes which is a key technology for the development of advanced AI systems, which are a prerequisite for autonomous driving.
This collaboration will focus on research for practically applications. Specialists from the Volkswagen Information Technology Centers (IT labs) in San Francisco and Munich will develop algorithms, simulations and optimizations together with the Google experts. They will carry out this work using Google universal quantum computers. In March 2017, Volkswagen announced its first successful research project completed on a quantum computer: a traffic flow optimization for 10.000 taxis in the Chinese capital Beijing.