(CNET) BMW,the German automaker said Wednesday that it is using a Honeywell quantum computer to find more efficient ways to purchase the myriad components that go into its vehicles.
The car giant has begun using Honeywell machines, first the H0 and then the newer H1, to determine which components should be purchased from which supplier at what time to ensure the lowest cost while maintaining production schedules. For example, one BMW supplier might be faster while another is cheaper. The machine will optimize the choices from a cascade of options and suboptions. Ultimately, BMW hopes this will mean nimbler manufacturing.
“We are excited to investigate the transformative potential of quantum computing on the automotive industry and are committed to extending the limits of engineering performance,” Julius Marcea, a BMW Group IT chief, said in a statement.
In the early stages, BMW will test quantum computing speed and ensure small-scale computations match results from classical machines.