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IonQ and Hyundai expand quantum computing work to object detection

By Dan O'Shea posted 19 Apr 2022

IonQ and Hyundai Motor Company, who already were working together on a project focused on improving batteries for electric vehicles, are expanding their existing partnership to a new arena–applying quantum machine learning to image classification and 3D object detection for future mobilities.

 “Object detection” in this case refers to various types of road signs. IonQ and Hyundai have been using IonQ’s Aria, the company’s latest-generation quantum computer, to encode images of road signs into quantum states. “IonQ is already well underway in classifying 43 types of road signs using IonQ’s quantum processors,” the statement said. “The next phase will see the two companies apply IonQ’s machine learning data to Hyundai’s test environment and simulate various real-world scenarios.”

As part of this project, IonQ and Hyundai will look to develop quantum techniques for the broad task of 3D object detection, expanding the current work on recognizing road signs to include other objects like pedestrians or cyclists. If the project heads in that direction, quantum computing could become a key contributor to the most important aspect of ongoing autonomous driving development–safety.

Quantum computers can process image data faster and more accurately than classical computers, and potentially save costs in the broader technology development and manufacturing process. The companies said that adding that image classification and 3D object detection “are foundational steps toward the next generation of mobilities, including autonomous vehicles.”

“We are excited to expand our existing relationship with Hyundai Motor to focus on another key aspect of next-generation mobility,” said Peter Chapman, President and CEO of IonQ. “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.”

 IonQ and Hyundai have one of the more interesting partnerships on the quantum computing landscape, , an arrangement initially announced in January, and there is good reason to believe that this expansion could be the first of many for the two companies as they continue to find new areas in which quantum computing can be a game-changer.

Dan has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

 

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