Airbus, BMW Launch Quantum Transport Competition

“Quantum Mobility Quest” aims to tackle aviation and automotive challenges using quantum technologies

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

December 12, 2023

2 Min Read
A CGI image of an Airbus aircraft and a BMW car
Airbus and BMW have launched a competition to use quantum to solve transportation challenges. Airbus

Airbus and BMW Group have launched Quantum Mobility Quest, a global challenge for new ways to use quantum technologies to tackle the most pressing challenges in aviation and automotive.

These include improved aerodynamics design with quantum solvers, future automated mobility with quantum machine learning, a more sustainable supply chain with quantum optimization and enhanced corrosion inhibition with quantum simulation.

Airbus and BMW are each pioneers in using quantum computing and other technologies to address real-world challenges in their industry. The competition represents the first time they have come together to seek real-world quantum solutions across different aspects of transport technologies.

The challenge asks candidates to propose solutions for one or more of the following challenges, each of which offers a $32,000 prize:

  • Smart Coating – Investigating quantum computing for corrosion inhibition

  • Quantum-Powered Logistics - Towards an efficient and sustainable supply chain

  • Quantum-Enhanced Autonomy - Augmenting generative AI for critical test scenario images

  • Quantum Solvers - Predictive aeroacoustic and aerodynamic modeling

  • The Golden App - Pushing the boundaries of quantum tech for mobility

Candidates can also submit their own quantum technologies with the potential to develop native apps yet to be explored in the transportation sector.

“This is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on quantum technology and its potential impact on our society,” said Airbus vice president of central research and technology Isabell Gradert.

“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.”

“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,” said BMW Group vice-president of research technologies Peter Lehnert.

“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.”

The first phase asks candidates to develop a theoretical framework for one of the given statements, and the second phase will see selected finalists implement and benchmark their solutions. Amazon Web Services will provide access to its Amazon Braket quantum computing service for participants to run their algorithms on.

Submissions will be accepted from mid-January through April 30, 2024. A jury of quantum experts plus Airbus, BMW Group and AWS scientists will evaluate the proposals and award one winning team in each of the five challenges by the end of 2024.

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About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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