Does quantum computers have a future in autonomous driving?
Hyundai Motor announced it is expanding an existing partnership with a US quantum computer company IonQ involves a project applying quantum machine learning for image classification and 3D object detection for autonomous vehicles.
A quantum computer in its simplest form is a machine that performs a very specific type of math to perform calculations, but does so at a speed that other computers theoretically cannot match.
Hyundai had previously limited its partnership with IonQ, which it announced in January 2022to develop algorithms that can deliver more performance and efficiency from next-generation lithium electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
IonQ quantum computers are different from other quantum computing systems because they use trapped ions, which are said to provide superior results compared to superconducting wires or crystalline silicon.
Hyundai says that by encoding images into a quantum state, IonQ is “going well” in classifying 43 different types of road signs using its quantum processor.
Its next phase is obviously applying machine learning data to test environments that simulate various real-world scenarios.
Hyundai and IonQ will also expand their existing work on road sign recognition to include other audiences such as pedestrians and cyclists.
“We are delighted to expand our current relationship with Hyundai Motor to focus on another important aspect of next-generation mobility,” said IonQ President and CEO Peter Chapman.
“From collaborating on battery research for electric vehicles to research on image classification and object detection to autonomous driving, we expect to see quantum computers become an integral part of the development new transportation solutions.”
IonQ was founded in 2015 and is a leader in trapped ion quantum computing. It has previously partnered with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to develop cloud-based quantum computing software.
Hyundai is aiming to bring self-driving cars Ioniq 5 Robotax going live with ride-sharing app Lyft in the US from 2023.
Developed by Motional, the Ioniq 5 Robotaxi is said to be a Level 4 autonomous vehicle capable of driving itself without human intervention in situations it was designed to handle, but still able to handle. controlled by one person.
It is equipped with a set of 30 sensors, including camera, radar and LiDAR unit.
Motional says the hardware gives the vehicle a 360-degree view of the world and enables “extremely long range object detection for safe autonomous operation in diverse driving environments”.
Hyundai’s parts and service arm, Hyundai Mobis, has also previously developed a prototype folding steering wheel system for self-driving cars.
Taking two years to develop, the folding steering technology is expected to be deployed in future Hyundai, Genesis and Kia autonomous vehicles.