Airbus, BMW Introduce Quantum Computing Competition

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A global quantum computing competition called The Quantum Mobility Quest, designed to tackle the most pressing challenges in aviation and automotive that have remained insurmountable for classical computers, has been launched by Airbus and BMW Group.

Business Post reports that registration for the challenge has commenced, with submissions to be accepted from mid-January through April 30, 2024, via www.thequantuminsider.com/quantum-challenge.

The contest is hosted by The Quantum Insider (TQI) and divided into two parts, a four-month phase where participants will develop a theoretical framework for one of the given statements, and a second phase during which selected finalists will implement and benchmark their solutions. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides candidates with an opportunity to run their algorithms on the cloud quantum computing service.

A jury composed of world-leading quantum experts will team up with experts from Airbus, BMW Group, and AWS to evaluate submitted proposals and award one winning team with a €30,000 prize in each of the five challenges, by the end of 2024.

Participants are expected to select one or more problem statements: improved aerodynamics design with quantum solvers, future automated mobility with quantum machine learning, more sustainable supply chain with quantum optimisation, and enhanced corrosion inhibition with quantum simulation.

Additionally, candidates can put forward their quantum technologies with the potential to develop native apps yet to be explored in the transportation sector.

Commenting on the initiative, Vice President for Central Research and Technology at Airbus, Ms Isabell Gradert, said, “This is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on quantum technology and its potential impact on our society.

“Partnering with an industry leader like BMW Group enables us to mature the technology as we need to bridge the gap between scientific exploration and its potential applications.

“We’re seeking the best-in-class students, PhDs, academics, researchers, start-ups, companies, or professionals in the field, worldwide to join our challenge to create a massive paradigm shift in the way aircraft are built and flown.”

Also speaking, the Vice-President for Research Technologies at BMW Group, Mr Peter Lehnert, said, “Following the success of previous editions of Quantum Computing Challenges by BMW Group and Airbus, we are gearing up for a new wave of innovation, exploring the technology capabilities for sustainability and operational excellence.

“The BMW Group is clearly aiming at positioning itself at the crossroads of quantum technology, the global ecosystem, and cutting-edge solutions.

“By doing so, we strongly believe in major advances when it comes to sustainable materials for batteries and fuel cells, to generate unique and efficient designs, or to enhance the overall user experience in the BMW Group Products.”

This challenge is the first of its kind, bringing together two global industry leaders to harness quantum technologies for real-world industrial applications, unlocking the potential to forge more efficient, sustainable and safer solutions for the future of transportation.

Quantum computing has the potential to significantly enhance computational power and enable the most complex operations that challenge even today’s best computers.

In particular, for data-driven industries like the transportation sector, this emerging technology could play a crucial role in simulating various industrial and operational processes, opening up opportunities to shape future mobility products and services.

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