The company claims to be the first automaker to use quantum computers.

Volkswagen claims to be the first automaker to use quantum computers, teaming with D-Wave Systems on a research project for traffic flow optimization.

The experiment includes teams from VW's Code Lab in San Francisco, the company's Data Lab in Munich and data from approximately 10,000 taxis in operation around Beijing. AI specialists and scientists at VW have created an algorithm to help reduce travel times of taxis in the city.

"We are doing digital pioneering work," says VW Group CIO Martin Hofmann. "We are now laying the foundation for the future by learning to make effective use of the strengths of a quantum computer. Our cooperation with D-Wave is a milestone on the way to the digital future of our Group."

The company suggests quantum computing is particularly well suited to the algorithms that will help optimize traffic flow. Quantum computers can consider highly complex problems with many variables, theoretically overcoming the computing limits of traditional digital computers.

The group will continue exploring other potential uses in subjects such as autonomous driving, AI-powered manufacturing processes and machine learning.