Quantum Computing in the Automotive Industry

By Dr. Christian Kessel


Quantum Computing is a new buzzword[1] – generally in the IT and high-tech industries and also already in the automotive industry[2]. In fact, according to McKinsey, 10% of all potential use cases for quantum computing could benefit the automotive industry, with a high impact to be expected by 2025[3].

Quantum computing will have real implications, benefits and risks for the automotive industry. As a disruptive technology with regards to high performance computers and super-computing processes, its uses for the automotive industry are manifold and likely to resolve some of the industry's key challenges. On the other hand, if we take a look at the specifics of quantum computing and, in particular, at some of the key differences to traditional computing arising from quantum physics, it should quickly become clear that there are also some new and major risks, which may be much harder in general to assess and deal with legally.

We set out and assess the applications, opportunities, challenges and legal risks of quantum computing in the automotive industry in this paper.

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[1] From quantum advantage (Digitale Welt 2/2021, p. 86) https://digitaleweltmagazin.de/d/magazin/DW_21_02.pdf and Google’s alleged Quantum Supremacy via the EU Commission’s Quantum Technologies Flagship https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/quantum-technologies-flagship and “quantum revolution” perception (see p. 8 of the EU Commission’s 2030 Digital Compass (COM(2021) 118 final) of 9 March 2021). https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-digital-compass-2030_en.pdf to Quantum Glory (the relationship between the science of quantum physics and the glory of God, see also footnote 10) and the dawn of a Quantum Era (Bosch Research Blog, post by Georgy Samsonidze, 16 February 2021, p. 8. https://www.bosch.com/stories/how-quantum-computing-can-tilt-the-computational-landscape/

[2] A very easy to read, almost colloquial but still informative introduction is by Dr. Lance Eliot, Here’s How Quantum Computer Supremacy will Impact Self-Driving Cars. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lanceeliot/2019/11/14/heres-how-quantum-supremacy-will-impact-self-driving-cars/ which makes the reader “quantum conversant”.

[3] Burkacky, O., Mohr, N., Pautasso, L. (2020, September 2). Will quantum computing drive the automotive future? McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/will-quantum-computing-drive-the-automotive-future