We live in an era where manufacturing and computer technology breakthroughs are paving the way for major changes in the way people travel from place to place.

For self-driving autonomous cars to communicate with the “Smart Cities” of tomorrow, quantum computing is a key driver.
Quantum computing enables computers to process exponentially greater amounts of information much faster than we can with traditional computers today.

Unlike traditional computing methods, which only translate information into a 1 or a 0, a quantum computer can translate information into multiple states. It can even understand something as being in multiple states at the same time, so instead of a computer bit that is either a 1 or a 0, a quantum bit can be both at once.

If this is all rather mind-blowing, think of it like the difference between a light bulb that’s either on or off, versus a light bulb that can be dimmed. It all boils down to the fact that we can store more information in a quantum bit, or qubit, than we can a traditional computer bit, and process all of it simultaneously.

Google says its mammoth D-Wave 2X quantum computing machine, which it runs in partnership with NASA, has been figuring out algorithms at 100,000,000 times the speed that a traditional computer chip can.

Albert Einstein told us curiosity has its own reason for existing. “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” he said. Automotive companies are also working with NASA to create an opportunity to learn more about the potential of quantum computing to identify quantum-level problems. This helps to ensure automotive engineers designing “Smart Cars for Smart Cities” know how to design the proper scenarios to put to the test. Once engineers understand the right way to ask questions in a quantum framework, there’s no telling the power they will have to solve potential problems in the future as we work to transform our transportation systems.

Source: NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley. http://social.ford.com, Google, The Universities Space Research Association. https://www.sciencealert.com/tech