Quantum Computing: The future of Auto

Quantum computing (QC) could potentially add billions of dollars to the automotive industry. Thanks to the recent quantum computing device that can operate at 1.5 Kelvin, the automotive sector have been exploring the computing device’s potential.

Although quantum computing applications are still about five to ten years down the road, the automotive industry has been exploring its effectiveness in the manufacturing and synthesis of new materials as well as the management of autonomous vehicles. The technology is said to have the potential to solve complex optimization problems that include processing vast amounts of data to accelerate learning in autonomous vehicles navigation algorithms.

Additionally, original equipment manufacturers and tier-one suppliers have been actively exploring the technology and its abilities to find solutions to existing issues related to route optimization, fuel-cell optimization, and material durability.

Automotive manufacturers such as Volkswagen and BMW have already announced their intentions to pursue quantum computing research. Their area of research includes quantum simulation for material sciences, as they aim to improve the efficiency, safety, and durability of batteries and fuel cells.

Volkswagen partnered with D-Wave in 2019, a quantum computing company based in Canada, to implement quantum computing to reduce traffic congestion to improve the travel routes of nine public transit buses during the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

Likewise, a German tier-one supplier, Bosch, has acquired a stake in Zapata Computing and contributed $21 million Series A investment in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based quantum start-up.

With quantum computing services estimated to be worth 32 to 52 billion dollars in the automotive industry by the year 2035, the automotive sector, as well as automotive stakeholders are currently working on establishing a lucid QC strategy.

The primary potentials of QC include accelerated research in electric vehicles, improvement in vehicle routing and route optimization, material, and process research, and improving the security of connected driving. Furthermore, it can be used by automakers to improve fuel efficiency during vehicle design and it can also help to reduce drag.

The technology can potentially reduce computing times from a few weeks to just a few seconds, thus ensuring car to car communication in real-time. In areas such as vehicle crash behavior and cabin soundproofing, QC can apply advanced simulations and apply algorithms used in the development of autonomous driving software.

QC is a growing field that assists automotive companies with logistics and production-related problems, as well as the advancement of autonomous vehicles that require tremendous computing prowess for processing and wireless communication. The technology can possibly bring autonomous vehicles from the testing and prototyping stage to the highly anticipated commercial phase.