Quantum Odyssey: BMW's Academic Alchemy

BMWImage Source: BMW


The BMW Group is ushering in a new era of innovation by endowing RWTH Aachen University with a professorship in "Quantum Information Systems." Prof. Dr. Dominique Unruh heads this chair, focusing on creating concrete quantum software solutions. BMW's commitment aims to integrate quantum software and hardware, propelling automotive applications' industrialization. The collaboration strategy spans TUM and RWTH, targeting groundbreaking innovations in quantum computing for the automotive sector.


In a pioneering move, the BMW Group has fortified RWTH Aachen University with a professorship in "Quantum Information Systems," housed in the Department of Computer Science. The inauguration of Prof. Dr. Dominique Unruh marks the official commencement of this transformative venture. Simultaneously, BMW has approved funding for an endowed chair at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), emphasizing the collaborative approach in advancing quantum computing research.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Kraus will lead the Chair of Quantum Algorithms and Applications at TUM, laying algorithmic foundations for industry-relevant applications. Alexander Buresch, Senior Vice President BMW Group IT, elucidates the company's commitment to creating an open software ecosystem, seamlessly integrating quantum software and hardware. This endeavor accelerates the industrialization of automotive applications, with endowed professors contributing crucially.

Over seven years, BMW's quantum computing research has evolved, recognizing the limitations of conventional hardware in tackling complex optimization problems and AI applications. The company, deeply entrenched in the quantum computing ecosystem, is an automotive innovation leader. Stefan Floeck, Senior Vice President Product Line MINI and Compact Class BMW, emphasizes BMW's involvement in promising fields like quantum computing.

Quantum computing, identified as a potential solution to the end of Moore's Law, is becoming integral to BMW's strategy. The dedicated quantum computing team is redefining real-world problems from development to distribution using quantum algorithms. Collaborating with Amazon Web Services, the team optimized robot arm movements during underbody sealing, potentially reducing cycle time in the Munich plant by up to 10%.

The BMW Group's involvement extends to the QUTAC consortium, driving quantum computing advancements, and participation in funded projects exploring quantum computing's potential in real industry use cases. Today, quantum computing proves instrumental in addressing computational bottlenecks in developing new applications and products.


In conclusion, BMW's strategic investment in quantum computing, epitomized by the endowed professorship at RWTH Aachen University, signifies a paradigm shift in automotive innovation. The collaboration with academic institutions like TUM reinforces BMW's commitment to advancing quantum computing research. The potential applications in optimization, simulation, and AI underscore the transformative impact of quantum computing on BMW's value chain. As the company pioneers quantum-inspired algorithms, it positions itself at the forefront of quantum technology's integration into the automotive sector.

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