Dwave sells 2000 qubit quantum annealing to Volkswagen, Virginia Tech and upgrades systems for NASA and Google

D-Wave Systems, who has commercial 2000 qubit quantum adiabatic computing systems, announced that Google, NASA, and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) have elected to upgrade their D-Wave 2X™ quantum computer to the new D-Wave 2000Q™ system, under the terms of their multi-year agreement, to support QuAIL’s pioneering research on how quantum computing can be applied to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and difficult optimization problems.

Google and Nasa and Space Research Association upgrade to 2000 qubit Dwave

“The new system will be the third generation of D-Wave technology installed at Ames,” said D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. “We are pleased that Google, NASA, and USRA value the increased performance embodied in our latest generation of technology, the D-Wave 2000Q system, for their critical applications.”

Since 2013, when the first D-Wave system was installed at Ames, scientists at Google, NASA, and USRA have been using it for a broad range of complex problems such as web search, speech recognition, planning and scheduling, air-traffic management, robotic missions to other planets, and support operations in mission control centers.

“We appreciate that the new processor offers more controls for each qubit, which enables us to experiment with new quantum-enhanced optimization and sampling algorithms,” said Hartmut Neven, Director of Engineering for Google and Head of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Dwave and Virginia Tech partner to provide quantum computing for US Intelligence and Defense

Dwave and Virginia Tech have established a joint effort to provide greater access to quantum computers for researchers from the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.

D-Wave and Virginia Tech will work towards the creation of a permanent quantum computing center to house a D-Wave system at the Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

The Hume Center leads Virginia Tech’s research, education, and outreach programs focused on the challenges of cybersecurity and autonomy in the context of national and homeland security. Education programs provide mentorship, internships, and scholarships, and seek to address key challenges in qualified US citizens entering federal service. Current research initiatives include cyber-physical system security, orchestrated missions, and the convergence of cyber warfare and electronic warfare.

“Both D-Wave and Virginia Tech recognize how vital it is that quantum computing be accessible to a broad community of experts focused on solving real-world problems,” said Bo Ewald, president of D‑Wave International. “One of the many reasons we chose to work with Virginia Tech is their strong relationships with the intelligence and defense communities. A key area of focus will be to work with federal agencies towards the creation of a quantum computing center at the Hume Center.”

Volkswagen using Dwave systems

IT experts from the Volkswagen Code Lab in San Francisco are working on a research project for traffic flow optimization

The Volkswagen Group is the world’s first automaker to use quantum computers, further expanding its digital competence for the future. In this context, Volkswagen Group IT is cooperating successfully with leading quantum computing company D-Wave Systems on a research project for traffic flow optimization. In the course of this project, IT experts from the Volkswagen labs in San Francisco and Munich have been the first to develop a smart mobility program on the D-Wave quantum computer. Quantum computers can solve highly complex problems many times faster than conventional supercomputers. To date, quantum computing technology has been used primarily by scientific institutes, government agencies, and in the aerospace sector.

At CeBIT 2017 in Hanover, Volkswagen and D-Wave will be announcing their strategic cooperation and, as a world premiere, demonstrating a software program that optimizes traffic flow on a quantum computer. In the course of this project, experts from the Volkswagen Code Lab in San Francisco and the Volkswagen Data Lab in Munich and used data from approximately 10,000 taxis in Beijing.

Dr. Martin Hofmann, CIO of the Volkswagen Group, says: “We are doing digital pioneering work. Quantum computing technology can bring tremendous progress to Volkswagen with respect to all the key IT topics of the future. We are now laying the foundation for the future by learning to make effective use of the strengths of a quantum computer. Our cooperation with D-Wave is a milestone on the way to the digital future of our Group. This shows that there is no other company where IT is now as exciting as at Volkswagen.”

Robert “Bo” Ewald, President of D-Wave International, says: “The goal of our cooperation with Volkswagen is to apply our quantum computing technology to Volkswagen’s real-world computing challenges and make a positive impact on their business. Bringing together our quantum computing experts with their automotive AI experts is the perfect model to make significant progress toward that goal. This project is a great example of how computing in the future will be done, with talented people looking at new ways to solve old problems, and combining traditional computers with quantum computers to deliver an improved solution.”

The strategic cooperation between the two companies focuses on the joint use of quantum computing systems. Experts from the Volkswagen Group IT labs are testing the programming of applications and algorithms on D-Wave’s quantum computer. This will result in the development of specialist expertise at Volkswagen and on the identification of meaningful applications that would benefit from the application of quantum computing within the Group.

The first research project is traffic flow optimization in the Chinese mega-metropolis of Beijing. Data scientists and AI specialists from Volkswagen have successfully programmed an algorithm to optimize the travel time of all public taxis in the city. The computing principle of a quantum computer is especially well-suited for this project because it natively solves optimization problems.

In simplified terms, an optimization problem considers how a specific resource (such as time, money or energy) can be used in the best possible way in a certain scenario. The complexity of the task and therefore the computing capacity required grow exponentially with the number of factors to be considered, taking conventional digital computers to their limits.

The Volkswagen Group is the first automaker to work intensively with quantum computing technology. Group IT expects a wide range of application possibilities especially in the areas of autonomous driving, the robotic enterprise (AI-supported process control), the smart factory, machine learning and intelligent mobility solutions.

Further projects with D-Wave are to follow. Initially, the main focus is on the acquisition of specialist knowledge. The IT experts are testing applications and algorithms to make the best possible use of the tremendous computing potential of D-Wave‘s quantum computer. In addition, the Volkswagen Group plans to intensify cooperation with universities and scientific institutes in the field of quantum computing.