Airbus and BMW Group initiate Quantum computing quest for mobility
Photo courtesy of Airbus

Airbus and BMW Group initiate Quantum computing quest for mobility

Airbus and BMW Group have launched a groundbreaking global Quantum Computing Challenge, titled โ€œThe Quantum Mobility Quest,โ€ aimed at addressing the most complex challenges in aviation and automotive sectors that have eluded classical computers.

This initiative marks the first time two industry giants in different sectors โ€“ aviation and automotive โ€“ have joined forces to explore quantum technologies for real-world industrial applications. The goal is to develop more efficient, sustainable, and safer solutions for the future of transportation.

Isabell Gradert, vice president of Central Research and Technology at Airbus, expressed enthusiasm about the potential of quantum technology. โ€œThis is an ideal time to focus on quantum technology and its societal impact. Collaborating with BMW Group allows us to advance the technology from scientific exploration to practical applications. We invite the brightest minds โ€“ students, PhDs, academics, researchers, startups, companies, or professionals worldwideโ€”to join our challenge and create a significant shift in aircraft construction and operation.โ€

Dr. Peter Lehnert, vice-president of Research Technologies at BMW Group, shared similar sentiments. โ€œFollowing our previous successful quantum computing challenges, we are poised for a new wave of innovation. We aim to explore the technology’s capabilities for sustainability and operational excellence. The BMW Group is committed to being at the forefront of quantum technology, the global ecosystem, and innovative solutions. We anticipate major advances in sustainable materials for batteries and fuel cells, unique and efficient designs, and enhanced user experiences in our products.โ€

Quantum computing’s potential

Quantum computing promises to significantly boost computational power, enabling complex operations that challenge even todayโ€™s most advanced computers. For data-driven industries like transportation, this emerging technology could be crucial in simulating various industrial and operational processes, shaping future mobility products and services.

Participants in the challenge can choose from problem statements including improved aerodynamics design with quantum solvers, future automated mobility with quantum machine learning, more sustainable supply chain with quantum optimisation, and enhanced corrosion inhibition with quantum simulation. Additionally, candidates can propose their own quantum technologies with potential applications in the transportation sector.

The challenge, hosted by The Quantum Insider (TQI), consists of two phases: a four-month theoretical framework development for one of the statements, followed by a phase where finalists implement and benchmark their solutions. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers candidates the opportunity to run their algorithms on the Amazon Braket quantum computing service.

A jury comprising world-leading quantum experts, along with experts from Airbus, BMW Group, and AWS, will evaluate the submissions. The winning team in each of the five challenges will be awarded a EUR30,000 (USD32,289) prize by the end of 2024.

Registration and Submission

Registration is now open, with submissions accepted from mid-January through April 30, 2024. Details can be found at

List of Challenges

1. Smart Coating – Investigating Quantum computing for corrosion inhibition

2. Quantum-Powered Logistics – Towards an efficient and sustainable supply chain

3. Quantum-Enhanced Autonomy – Augmenting generative AI for critical test scenario images

4. Quantum Solvers – Predictive aeroacoustic & aerodynamic modeling

5. The Golden App – Pushing the boundaries of quantum tech for mobility

5. The Golden App – Pushing the boundaries of quantum tech for mobility