Volkswagen and Google delve into quantum computing

Volkswagen and Google have announced a partnership to develop new quantum computing applications for three of the car manufacturer's projects.

Google will contribute its quantum computers and knowledge of data, while Volkswagen will contribute its expertise in the automotive industry, to together develop traffic optimisation, high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and new machine learning processes to help with the production of its cars.

"Quantum computing technology opens up new dimensions and represents the fast-track for future-oriented topics," Martin Hofmann, chief information officer of the Volkswagen Group, said.

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

It's hoped the quantum computers will eventually be able to solve the complex tasks associated with the automotive industry much faster than conventional computers by developing algorithms and models with the support of specialists from the Volkswagen Information Technology Centers (IT labs) in San Francisco and Munich.

Volkswagen's traffic optimisation research involves working out how to reduce travelling times with urban guidance systems, electric car charging stations and helping motorists find vacant car parking spaces around cities. Its second project involves simulating the use of high-performance batteries and optimising them to offer the best performance possible from electric cars.

"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," Hartmut Neven, director of the Google Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, added.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.