25 Apr 22
News

IonQ’s quantum computer helps Hyundai's autonomous driving plan

IonQ’s quantum computer helps Hyundai's autonomous driving plan

Hyundai Motor Company and IonQ (no, not Ioniq), a leader in quantum computing, are deepening their collaboration. To develop next-generation mobility, especially autonomous vehicles, both partners will join forces to elevate the computational capacity for digitally reshaping the traffic environment and enabling vehicles to better "see" objects in their environment.

As for now, conventional cameras and sensors are already capable of reading their surroundings. However, a higher degree of accuracy is indispensable if the cars of the future want to participate autonomously in everyday traffic. Several OEMs are turning to specialized companies to develop sophisticated software platforms. Volkswagen has teamed up with Google for quantum technology solutions, and Hyundai is now deepening its relationship with IonQ, a developer of a general-purpose trapped ion quantum computer and related software from Maryland, USA.

Their latest computer is called Aria. With 20 algorithmic qubits, this is the industry’s most powerful quantum computer.

Safer and more intelligent

As part of this project, IonQ and Hyundai will look to develop quantum techniques for the broad task of 3D object detection, expanding the current work on recognizing road signs to include other objects like pedestrians or cyclists. As such, running object recognition tasks on Aria should enable more efficient processing with lower costs, leading to the development of safer, more intelligent mobilities in the future.

CEO of IonQ Peter Chapman comments: “From partnering on battery research for electric vehicles to image classification and object detection research for automated driving, we expect to see quantum computers become an even more integral part in developing novel transportation solutions.”

Enhance lithium batteries

As Chapman indicates, the news follows an earlier collaboration between his company and Hyundai focused on creating the largest battery chemistry model yet to be run by a quantum computer. This simulation is expected to significantly enhance the quality of next-generation lithium batteries by making improvements to the devices’ charge and discharge cycles and their durability, capacity, and safety.

In contrast to regular computers, Quantum bits don’t switch between 0 and 1, but can be 0 and 1 simultaneously. This makes them extremely powerful. Quantum neural networks can provide killer applications, and their machine learning abilities are expected to boost the development of autonomous driving significantly.

Image source: Hyundai

Authored by: Piet Andries