VW and Google team up on quantum computers

The pair will use quantum computing, which is still early in its development, taking advantage of the quirks of quantum physics to perform calculations at far higher speeds than current computers. As part of this collaboration, a team of specialists from Volkswagen and Google will work together using a Google quantum computer.

"Quantum computer technology opens new dimensions for us", Chief Information Officer Martin Hofmann said in the statement. "Thanks to our cooperation with Google, we have taken a major step towards this goal". In addition to improving the flow of traffic, VW wants to see whether quantum computing can be used to coordinate the use of parking spaces and electric vehicle charging stations.

The German automaker is having workers at its IT labs in San Francisco and Munich partner with Google scientists to develop new simulations and algorithms on Google's universal quantum computing platform. Volkswagen plans to develop algorithms for urban traffic guidance systems, as well as identifying available electric charging stations or vacant parking spaces.

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The Volkswagen Group is the first automotive company in the world to work intensively on quantum computing technology. In March, VW completed its first successful research project on a quantum computer: a traffic flow optimization for 10,000 taxis in the Chinese capital Beijing. Electric vehicles may be on their way to revolutionize the auto industry, but for now the high prices for their batteries contribute to slow electric vehicle adoption. Volkswagen Group Research and Development experts expect this approach to provide new information for vehicle construction and battery research. VW claims that will be important to autonomous driving, a technology both it and Google are developing.

This is because Quantum computers offer a massive improvement over conventional computers because they make use of the fact that quantum systems exist in multiple states at the same time, an effect made famous by Schrodinger's cat paradox, in which a cat sealed in a box away from all interactions can be simultaneously alive and dead.

Employees of Volkswagen's IT division and Google will cooperate to research the development of traffic optimization, new materials structures, high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and artificial intelligence for machine learning processes on a quantum computer provided by Google.

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