IonQ and Hyundai Motors Expand Quantum Computing Partnership, Continuing Pursuit of Automotive Innovation

Hyundai IonQ
Hyundai IonQ
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Insider Brief

  • Hyundai Motors and IonQ will work to develop machine vision algorithms on IonQ’s quantum computers.
  • Ultimately, the devices will be capable of conducting object detection on three dimensional data from autonomous vehicles.
  • The companies also plan to use quantum computers to assess potential catalyst materials in future fuel cells.


PRESS RELEASE –IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), an industry leader in quantum computing, today announced the next stages of its partnership with Hyundai Motors to develop the vehicles of the future. Hyundai Motors and IonQ will work to develop machine vision algorithms on IonQ’s quantum computers, capable of conducting object detection on three dimensional data from autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the two groups will also utilize IonQ’s industry-leading quantum computers to assess potential catalyst materials in future fuel cells. The new projects build upon previous work between the two companies and further the role quantum computers have in developing the smart, environmentally friendly vehicles of the future.

In the race to develop reliable, autonomous vehicles of the future, Hyundai is at the forefront. Ongoing research between IonQ and Hyundai Motors has the two companies applying quantum machine learning to image processing, where images – such as road signs – are encoded into a quantum state for classification and object detection. The initial success of these early projects has led Hyundai to pursue additional joint research with IonQ on a number of new techniques. Of particular interest in this new endeavor is the analysis of spatial and environmental data from lidar and other sensors, which could improve vehicles’ understanding of the nature and location of objects, people, and environment around them. Quantum machine learning techniques have shown the potential to learn faster, be more effective in recognizing edge cases, generalize better, learn from lower resolution or noisy data, and capture complex correlations with a far lower number of parameters. These deep technical advantages can ultimately lead to quicker, safer and more accurate decisions without user input.

Additionally, Hyundai Motors’ earlier efforts to study lithium compounds and their chemical reactions involved in battery chemistry, has led the group to expand its current scope and explore novel ways to improve fuel cell efficiency in future vehicles. By developing and applying quantum chemistry algorithms for IonQ’s systems, Hyundai Motors will advance fuel-cell chemical reaction simulation with catalysts. The collective insights and knowledge gained from the quantum simulations will enable fuel-cell engineers to develop new catalyst materials and tackle reaction rate bottlenecks in order to reduce the cost and improve the performance of fuel cells.

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“We are pleased to grow our partnership with IonQ and leverage their commercial quantum systems and research expertise to advance the future of automobiles,” said TaeWon Lim, Executive Vice President and Head of Materials Research & Engineering Center at Hyundai Motor Group. “The outcomes of today’s projects will allow us to capitalize on quantum’s unique abilities in calculating for a number of scenarios when it comes to object detection and fuel cell efficiency, thus leading to the development of safer and smarter future vehicles. We look forward to utilizing IonQ’s quantum software and hardware throughout the scope of the project and beyond.”

“IonQ’s continued work with Hyundai strengthens both our beliefs that quantum will drive the next phase of innovations throughout the automotive industry,” said Jungsang Kim, co-founder and CTO, IonQ. “Autonomous vehicles are still in their infancy, yet the quantum-derived algorithms we’re testing today have the potential to shape the commerciality, efficiency and safety of such systems.”

Today’s projects closely follows IonQ’s recent announcement that it secured a $13.4 million contract to supply the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) with access to its trapped ion systems for quantum computing hardware research and for the development of quantum algorithms and applications. Other commercial partnerships to have materialized in recent months include Airbus, GE Research, and Goldman Sachs, among others. Additionally, IonQ’s Aria system is the most powerful commercially available quantum system in the market with an industry-leading 23 algorithmic qubits.

For other information about IonQ’s recent commercial or research partnerships, please refer to the Q2 2022 financial results announced on August 15, 2022.

About IonQ

IonQ, Inc. is a leader in quantum computing, with a proven track record of innovation and deployment. IonQ’s current generation quantum computer, IonQ Forte, is the latest in a line of cutting-edge systems, including IonQ Aria, a system that boasts industry-leading 23 algorithmic qubits. Along with record performance, IonQ has defined what it believes is the best path forward to scale. IonQ is the only company with its quantum systems available through the cloud on Amazon Braket, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as through direct access through IonQ. IonQ was founded in 2015 by Christopher Monroe and Jungsang Kim based on 25 years of pioneering research. To learn more, visit

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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