Volkswagen Teams Up with D-Wave Systems to Test Quantum Computers for Autonomous Driving and More

March 20th, 2017 by

Big things are soon to happen at the cutting edge of the areas of autonomous driving, AI-supported enterprise process control, smart-operating factories, machine learning, intelligent mobility solutions and more, if Volkswagen’s prospective partnership with D-Wave Systems, to be announced at CeBIT 2017 on Monday, March 20, 2017, is any indication. When an automaker long known for its quality, with research branches in San Francisco, CA and Munich, Germany, partners with a leading quantum computing company to explore traffic flow optimization in 10,000 taxis in Beijing, China, one knows something interesting’s going on.

The crack team of automotive AI and quantum computing experts developed a smart mobility program on a D-Wave quantum computer – tech normally reserved for use in scientific institutes, government agencies, and in the aerospace sector. The idea was to solve a highly complex problem – public taxi travel time and the optimal way for traffic to flow given available resource and scenario parameters — many times faster than a conventional supercomputer, and lay the groundwork for what seem to be nigh-limitless future smart applications.

By design, a quantum computer’s core operation depends on basic optimization problem solving, and since such complex questions grow exponentially, also by design, conventional digital computers quickly approach their application limits. Traffic flow optimization, then, is a problem for which a quantum computer is ideally suited. Imagine what such processing power could do for the “forethought” of self-driving vehicles.

Future D-Wave collaborations are in the works, along with those between Volkswagen and universities and scientific institutes. We’ll just have to await further info on these developments following CeBIT’s big reveal. In the meantime, our 258 Pittsburgh Road showroom here in Butler can introduce you to an array of models in the 2017 Volkswagen lineup to get your wheels turning about what these exciting emerging fields can do for the drive-time experience. We look forward to your visit!

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