IonQ & Hyundai Explore Quantum Computing to Enhance Object Detection in Future Cars

Maryland-based quantum computing specialist IonQ and South Korean automaker Hyundai announced a partnership in January 2022 to explore the use of quantum computing to enhance the performance and reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. In its latest press release, Hyundai is expanding its partnership with IonQ to apply quantum machine learning and improve the computation process of advanced driving aids for future vehicles.

“From partnering on battery research for electric vehicles to image classification and object detection research for automated driving, we expect to see quantum computers become an even more integral part in developing novel transportation solutions,” said Peter Chapman, President and CEO of IonQ.

The new project aims to leverage quantum machine learning to improve image classification and 3D object detection, two foundational steps that Hyundai says are crucial ingredients to complete the autonomous driving broth.

Quantum States

Quantum computers are 158 million times faster than the most powerful supercomputers of the modern era and can perform multiple processes simultaneously. Utilizing a proprietary system of encoding images into quantum states, IonQ’s quantum processors can classify up to 43 types of road signs at present. More than just recognizing road signs, IonQ is looking to expand on identifying other objects or people like cyclists and pedestrians.

Phase two of the project will see Hyundai applying IonQ’s machine learning data to a test environment with simulated real-world driving scenarios. “We are excited to expand our relationship with Hyundai Motors to focus on another key aspect of next-generation mobility,” Chapman added.

Advanced 3D Object Detection

IonQ and Hyundai’s newest project is keen to develop quantum techniques for enhanced 3D object detection. The two companies are leveraging the speed and processing power of the IonQ Aria quantum computer to lower the cost of developing safer and more intelligent mobility solutions. The IonQ Aria and its 20 algorithmic qubits make it the most powerful quantum computer in the industry based on standard application-oriented benchmarks.