BMW tries to get ahead of its supply curve using quantum computing

It's using Honeywell machines to figure out the best time to buy components.


BMW is starting to embrace quantum computing to optimize its supply chains. The automaker has started testing Honeywell systems to help it determine the best components to buy at the right time without disrupting production. 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 machine can determine the most optimal selections from the available choices.

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. It's not the first automaker to test quantum computing. Volkswagen has tried using the technology to develop better traffic management systems.

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.