Friday, November 10, 2017

New Quantum for Volkswagen, but This One’s a Computer


By: Evan Williams
Volkswagen and Google have announced that they are collaborating to do research using quantum computers. Volkswagen will use Google’s quantum computers to complete three research projects that will develop cars and give VW more tech know-how that expands beyond cars.
The first project is to work on further developing traffic optimization. Smoothing the flow and making traffic better in congested cities. VW started this project earlier this year, using data from 10,000 Beijing taxis. That work, on a D-Wave Systems quantum computer, helped to reduce traffic by giving drivers more ideal routes to take.
Volkswagen wants to build on that Beijing project and add more variables like charging stations and open parking spaces in order to further reduce congestion.
The second project is to simulate structures and materials to help advance battery technology. VW hopes that the project can improve vehicle construction and battery research. By better and more quickly modelling the effects of changes in materials and shape, battery research gets faster and more efficient. Then you get better batteries, sooner.
The last is making better machine learning processes. That’s key to developing the advanced artificial intelligence that’s necessary for autonomous vehicles to advance. In-car computers need to learn how to learn, respond, and act in everyday driving situations, and faster computers can help speed that process.
Martin Hofmann, CIO for Volkswagen Group said that “quantum computing technology opens up new dimensions and represents the fast-track for future-oriented topics. We at Volkswagen want to be among the first to use quantum computing for corporate processes as soon as this technology is commercially available.”
Google will give access to their powerful quantum computers, which can process information in more ways than normal computers.


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