IonQ and Hyundai expand quantum partnership

  • December 20, 2022
  • William Payne

The partnership between quantum computing specialist IonQ and Hyundai Motor is evolving, with the two companies announcing that they will develop quantum machine vision algorithms capable of detecting objects on three dimensional data from autonomous vehicles. The companies will use IonQ’s quantum computers to develop the algorithms as well as simulating electrochemical reactions of varying metal catalysts in an effort to develop more advanced battery technologies.

IonQ and Hyundai have already applied quantum machine learning to image processing, encoding images such as road signs into a quantum state for classification and object detection. The success of these early projects has led Hyundai to pursue additional joint research with IonQ on a number of new techniques.

The new phase of development of quantum computing for self driving is analysing spatial and environmental data from lidar and other sensors to improve vehicles’ understanding of the nature and location of objects, people, and environment around them.

Quantum machine learning techniques being investigated at IonQ have shown the potential to learn faster, be more effective in recognising edge cases, generalise better, learn from lower resolution or noisy data, and capture complex correlations with a far lower number of parameters. These advantages can ultimately lead to quicker, safer and more accurate decisions without user input.

Hyundai’s earlier efforts to study lithium compounds and the chemical reactions involved in battery chemistry has led the group to expand the scope of its quantum computing focus and explore new metal catalyst chemical reactions for future vehicles. The collective insights and knowledge gained from the quantum simulations will enable Hyundai engineers to potentially develop higher-performance EVs at reduced costs.

“IonQ’s continued work with Hyundai strengthens both our beliefs that quantum will drive the next phase of innovations throughout the automotive industry,” said Jungsang Kim, co-founder and CTO, IonQ. “Autonomous vehicles are still in their infancy, yet the quantum-derived algorithms we’re testing today have the potential to shape the commerciality, efficiency and safety of such systems.”

IonQ’s announced recently that it has secured a $13.4 million contract to supply the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) with access to its trapped ion systems for quantum computing hardware research and for the development of quantum algorithms and applications. Other commercial partnerships to have materialised in recent months include Airbus, GE Research, and Goldman Sachs, among others. IonQ’s Aria system is a commercially available quantum system market with 25 algorithmic qubits.