Volkswagen and Google are giants within their own industries, but by working together on incredibly powerful quantum computers, artificial intelligence and advanced technology could be in our cars even faster.
What is a quantum computer? Without opening a physics text book and completing a degree in advanced computer science, they are extremely powerful yet efficient machines. Today’s computers speak a language of ones and zeroes called bits. A quantum computer has many more computations in its dialect making it substantially faster when it comes to problem solving.
One of the ways Google and Volkswagen intend to experiment with quantum processing is by optimising traffic. Many jams or patches of congestion are caused by poor traffic management. If you could use a quantum computer to simultaneously work out traffic patterns and the ideal way to keep cars flowing at peak times, your commute home could dramatically shrink. This same system could be used for finding vacant parking spaces or electric car charging stations.
Volkswagen’s future electric cars are set to benefit from quantum computing as simulations testing for the perfect battery structure can be completed faster. Optimised batteries will have greater range and performance.
Another application VW and Google want to look at is AI in cars. By further exploring machine learning, autonomous cars can become smarter. Instead of having a preprogrammed response to a situation, a quantum autonomous car could better assess the situation and decide upon the best course of action.
Volkswagen are the first car manufacturer to seize upon this up and coming technology and being involved with early experiments will give them an advantage in years to come. 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.”
How quantum computers work might be difficult for us mere mortals to understand, but it’s clear to see that they will be the future electronic brains of our cars.