Global challenge: Quantum leaps with quantum technology 

Airbus and the BMW Group have launched "The Quantum Mobility Quest", a  global challenge aims to help overcome the most urgent pain points  in aviation and automotive engineering that are insurmountable for today’s high performance  computers.

The challenge  is the first of its kind to utilise quantum technologies for industrial applications in both automotive and aerospace. It also aims to develop more efficient, sustainable and safer solutions for the transport of the future. 

Improved aerodynamics and more sustainable supply chains 

Quantum computing has the potential to enable computing power that is a challenge even for today's best computers. 

To this end, Airbus is looking for the best students, PhD students, academics, researchers, start-ups, companies or professionals in this field worldwide who want to revolutionise the way aircraft are built and flown. Entries can be submitted until 30 April 2024. 


Candidates can propose their own quantum technologies or choose from several problems. These include improved aerodynamic design, automated mobility of the future with quantum-based machine learning, more sustainable supply chains with quantum optimisation and improved corrosion protection measures with quantum simulation.

Expert jury selects the winners

The competition runs in two phases: In the first four-month phase, the participants develop a theoretical framework for one of the given statements. In phase two, the finalists then realise their solutions. A jury of the world's leading quantum experts as well as experts from Airbus, the BMW Group will then evaluate the submitted proposals, under the expert guidance of an Amazon Web Services (AWS) who offer their quantum native technology to candidates to test the algorithms. By the end of 2024, five winning teams will be honoured with prize money of 30,000 euros each. 

Candidates can submit their solutions via the Quantum Mobility Quest webpage

Status: Jan 2024

State-of-the-art technologies in action: robots, digital design and quantum computing 

The aerospace industry faces the significant challenge of how to make aircraft more sustainable while remaining competitive. One thing is clear: this can only be achieved through the comprehensive digitalisation of design and production.

At Airbus, we are overturning ideas about what is possible in aerospace by developing future aircraft designs on computers, researching quantum computing and developing lightweight high-performance materials. We not only use robots, we also develop some of them ourselves.

Digital design: affordable, sustainable, safe 

It takes years before a new aircraft model is ready for serial production. That is why Airbus is systematically digitalising the entire process by which aerospace products are designed, manufactured and operated. We are focusing on digital methods and tools that ensure we can reduce the cost and development time of our products while meeting our customers' expectations in terms of quality, safety and environmental performance.

Flextrack System is operated on the H245 Hamburg

New equipment hall in Hamburg sets standards

Robots are already playing a key role in aircraft construction – for instance in the H259 equipment assembly hall in Hamburg, which opened in 2023. With 9,600m² of production space, the hangar is used to fit out the rear fuselages of the A321XLR aircraft built in Hamburg.

The hangar contains state-of-the-art technologies for operation and production, such as automated logistics, fully digital devices and test stations that provide the status of the individual fuselage sections at all times. The almost 24-meter-long fuselage components are fitted with all electrical and mechanical systems as well as other elements such as windows, floor panels and external antennas on an automated "pulse line" consisting of eight stations. The stations were planned in close consultation with the employees in order to create an efficient production flow as well as an ergonomically optimised and modern working environment.

Quantum leaps thanks to quantum computing 

Looking into the future, quantum computing has the potential to significantly increase computing power and enable the most complex applications that overwhelm even today's best computers. To unlock this potential, Airbus and the BMW Group have launched a global quantum computing competition called "The Quantum Mobility Quest" at the end of 2023. This is intended to help overcome the most urgent challenges in aviation and automotive engineering that are insurmountable for conventional computers. 

For the first time, two global industry leaders are coming together to harness quantum technologies for real-world industrial applications, unlocking the potential for more efficient, sustainable and safer solutions for the future of transportation.

Status: Jan 2024

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