It’s a bold new world for automakers. After a century of development and fine-tuning, the combustion engine is following the path of the dodos as Europe transitions to clean energy.
But the future of cars is not limited to electric motors. The appearance of fully autonomous vehicles could be just beyond the technological horizon, and the promise of a million-mile battery is drawing ever closer. In order to navigate the path of these technologies, European automakers are increasingly partnering with quantum computing companies.
The European automotive industry has a long and rich history of technological innovation. From its beginnings with the Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau in 1898 to the masterpiece that is the 2023 McLaren Artura, Europe’s place at the forefront of the industry has never been in question. With that in mind, let’s look to the future.
The next steps for the industry are to take a leap forward. Although quantum computing and other quantum-based technologies are still in their infancy, there are myriad ways to help the automotive industry.
Up front, the fruit at hand is self-driving. Despite early hype, researchers and automakers have yet to crack the nut on the self-driving car. For every step that companies such as BMW, Tesla, and Waymo take, it seems like hundreds of edge cases appear that the AI is unable to process.
We’re probably still a long way from building a quantum computer that can fit in a car where, presumably, it would act as its brain. But quantum acceleration — the ability of quantum processors to perform calculations and/or run algorithms that a classical system couldn’t do in a timely manner — could offer advances in several fundamental areas for autonomous vehicle systems. .
Scientists at Terra Quantum AG recently partnered with Volkswagen to find new ways to use hybrid quantum neural networks to improve image recognition. This particular experiment demonstrated the potential of quantum technologies to dramatically improve the quality assurance process.
Essentially, the researchers used quantum-powered AI to increase the accuracy of its image sensing capabilities to improve the quality of the automotive manufacturing process. The techniques they’re working to develop could easily spill over to other industries, but they could also be used to give self-driving cars better “eyes” by increasing the speed and accuracy with which neural networks can process data. pictures.
Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum startup, has also partnered with BMW in another quantum venture. Working with the German automaker, the company hopes to find new, lighter and more durable materials to build cars. The team hopes to eventually reach the point where the design process is fast, accurate and involves zero prototyping to ensure a clean energy approach to every facet of the automotive manufacturing process.
BMW and Volkswagen are early adopters in the face of the impending quantum computing hardware explosion, but you can be sure every other major automaker also has a plan to jump in on the action – experts predict the quantum tech market will will reach nearly $500 billion by 2030. And the transition to autonomous vehicles (and away from ownership) will require an entirely different view of supply and logistics, which the quantum industry has strongly embraced. invested in improvement.
Ultimately, the future of manufacturing as a whole, not just the automotive sector, is quantum. But it may take some time before things really move on. The good news, however, is that our analysis shows that automakers stand to gain as pioneering partners in the European economy of fast-growing quantum startups.