Airline Industry First: Delta Partners with IBM for Quantum Computing
The airline is joining the IBM Quantum Network to accelerate quantum research and application development
January 10, 2020
As part of its deep dive into technology at CES2020 in Las Vegas this week, Delta Air Lines announced its agreement with IBM to embark on a multi-year collaborative effort – including joining the IBM Q Network – to explore the potential capabilities of quantum computing to transform experiences for customers and employees.
“Partnering with innovative companies like IBM is one way Delta stays on the leading edge of tech to better serve our customers and our people, while drawing the blueprints for application across our industry,” said Rahul Samant, Delta’s CIO. “We’ve done this most recently with biometrics in our international terminals and we’re excited to explore how quantum computing can be applied to address challenges across the day of travel.”
Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian delivered the CES 2020 opening keynote address that focused on how Delta is transforming airline travel into an enjoyable and special part of the journey. The airline is using technology to extend the warmth of its people to non-traditional airline touchpoints and delivering innovative experiences that reduce stress across the travel day.
The IBM Q Network™ is a 100-plus strong global community of Fortune 500 companies, startups, academic institutions and research labs working to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications.
Additionally, through the IBM Q Hub at NC State University, Delta will have access to the IBM Q Network’s world’s largest fleet of universal hardware quantum computers for commercial use cases and fundamental research, including the recently-announced 53-qubit quantum computer, which has the most qubits of a universal quantum computer available for external access in the industry, to date.
“We are very excited by the addition of Delta to our list of collaborators working with us on building practical quantum computing applications,” said Director of IBM Research Dario Gil. “IBM’s focus, since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, has been to move quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments conducted by a handful of organizations, into the hands of tens of thousands of users. We believe a clear advantage will be awarded to early adopters in the era of quantum computing and with partners like Delta, we’re already making significant progress on that mission.”
Delta joins more than 100 clients already experimenting with commercial quantum computing solutions alongside classical computers from IBM to tackle problems such as risk analytics and options pricing, advanced battery materials and structures, manufacturing optimization, chemical research, and logistics.