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VW, Google bringing quantum computing to automotive industry

The companies believe the technology could help analyze traffic optimization or run simulations to develop new materials for components such as batteries.

Volkswagen and Google have announced a collaborative partnership that aims to bring quantum computing into the automotive industry.

Still in the early stages of development, quantum computers promise to achieve a leap in processing power for certain types of algorithms and complex tasks. The systems also support unique algorithms that are incompatible with traditional binary computing.

Google has been working on the technology for several years, launching the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab in 2013 with a 512-qubit D-Wave machine. The search giant has since played a significant role in furthering research.

Volkswagen Group IT wants to use Google's latest quantum computers to explore traffic optimizations and materials, with a focus on battery designs. The companies will collaborate on developing algorithms, simulations and optimizations that can run on a quantum computer.

The traffic optimization project builds upon research already completed by VW using traditional computers. The team wants to add additional variables such as urban traffic guidance systems, EV charging stations and vacant parking spaces.

The second project will require engineers to use the quantum computer for simulations of materials structures used in next-generation batteries. The initiative could help accelerate development of new energy storage technology for use in EVs.

A third project will focus on developing new machine learning processes for use in AI systems, essentially using quantum computers to help create code for autonomous cars.

The companies have not outlined a timeframe for completing the various programs.

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