Quantum computers get busy helping BMW optimise its global supply chain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Ultra-powerful quantum computers are perfectly designed to help solve optimisation problems, and most global supply chains are highly inefficient.

 

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Back in 2019 Volkswagen became one of the first car makers to use quantum computers to optimise and manage its fleet of cars as they travelled around Lisbon during Web Summit. And now, mere months after China’s quantum computer performed a calculation that would have taken a regular supercomputer 2.5 billion years to complete in just minutes, BMW has announced they’ve using the awesome raw power of quantum computers to help them optimise their global supply chains.

 

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The automaker says it’s working with Honeywell to help it determine the best components to buy at the right time without disrupting its production lines. While one supplier might be able to deliver components faster, similar parts might be cheaper from another supplier at the same time, as CNET notes.

The new Honeywell H1 quantum computer BMW are using can determine the most optimal selections from the available choices making it an invaluable tool in helping BMW streamline their snaking global supply chain. Tracking the availability and pricing of components from a variety of suppliers can be a complex task, especially for traditional computers, so BMW is hoping that the quantum approach can help it to improve its manufacturing processes.

 

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Elsewhere, BMW has announced entry-level plug-in hybrid versions of the 3 Series and 5 Series. After the 320e and 530e become available in March, the automaker will have 15 BMW models and one Mini with plug-in hybrid drive in its lineup.

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