BMW looks to quantum computers to speed up car design

BMW has become the latest company to give Quantum an early opportunity, with the goal of cutting development cycles far beyond traditional means.

Quantum computing systems and software startup Pasqal has announced its partnership with the German automaker, which will use Bees’s differential equation solving algorithm to test the applicability of quantum computing to metal formation modeling.

BMW is experimenting with Pasqal systems to reduce the time it takes to build and test physical models of metal components, which often have to be finely tuned after testing to achieve the results designers and engineers want.

Pascal claimed that today’s computational systems are unable to simulate an entire vehicle in sufficient detail to obtain accurate data about a single part. Pascal said his systems will help BMW develop lighter parts and more efficient cars.

Describing himself as a manufacturer of neutral quantum processors, Pascal says his systems use an analog-digital implementation of quantum algorithms designed for use in their processors. Pascal claims that this combination of software and hardware makes their systems 30 times more efficient than competing systems, although comparisons between quantum systems are as fuzzy as the technology itself.

As part of the project, Pascal said record It expects to use its cloud-based quantum processors to analyze data, as well as its full suite of quantum computing software.

Who did this work?

Pascal, who works with Saudi Aramco to explore quantum computing in the energy sector, reached her new agreement after winning the BMW Group Quantum Computing Challenge in late 2021. However, clicking on this link will not show Pascal’s name on the list. He absorbed one of the four winners, Qu & Co, in January 2022 after the challenge had already ended and the highest scores announced.

Qu & Co won a material deformation simulation, which is described on the BMW Challenge website as “an approach to solving partial differential equations in numerical simulation.” This sounds a lot like the differential equation solving algorithm that BMW is interested in.

Talking to recorda Pasqal spokesperson said he bought Qu & Co in order to have one company able to offer an “integrated quantum solution,” with Pasqal focused on developing quantum computers, while Qu & Co’s work was with algorithms and software.

“Thus, Pasqal is now the only company on the market that can offer the solution that BMW is interested in, which is an important reason why German automaker Pasqal is retaining this next mandate,” a Pasqal spokesperson confirmed.

Pascal did not directly answer questions about whether any of its employees were involved in Qu & Co’s business on the BMW project prior to the acquisition, and the company did not say whether or not it participated independently in the BMW competition.

It appears Pasqal entered the contest based on a GitHub project titled “bmwchallenge” which has not changed since shortly after the submissions closed. BMW has not made a list of the 15 finalists or 70 participants, so it is unknown how Pasqal’s efforts succeeded in the challenge. ®

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