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Airbus and BMW launch ‘Quantum Mobility Quest’ to tackle mobility’s biggest challenges

07 December 2023

The two companies have announced a first-of-its-kind competition, inviting you to use quantum computing to unlock the future of transport.

Airbus and BMW Group’s quantum computing challenge aims to tackle the most pressing challenges in aviation and automotive that have remained insurmountable for classical computers.

This challenge brings 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.

"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,” says Isabell Gradert, Vice President of Central Research and Technology at Airbus.

“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.”

“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,” says Dr Peter Lehnert, Vice-President, Research Technologies at BMW Group.

“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.”

Quantum computing has the potential to enhance computational power significantly and to 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.

Challenge candidates are invited 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 own quantum technologies with the potential to develop native apps yet to be explored in the transportation sector.

The challenge 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 their Amazon Braket 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.

Registration is now open, and submissions will be accepted from mid-January through to 30 April 2024. Apply here.

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