GMC’s all-electric Hummer will be the first car with software built using Epic’s Unreal Engine



a screen shot of a computer


© Image: Epic Games


Fortnite creator Epic Games is partnering with carmakers, starting with General Motors, to use its Unreal Engine game development platform to build in-car software in what Epic is calling its “human-machine interface” (HMI) initiative. The first car to use Unreal Engine, which is the primary software toolset with which developers make Fortnite and countless other big-budget video games, will be GMC’s upcoming Hummer EV, set to be unveiled on October 20th.

The logic is simple: modern cars are primarily designed using software, and assembled cars carry scores of onboard computers and rely on touchscreens and digital interfaces to power infotainment centers and other sources of information displayed to drivers. And Unreal Engine is a great platform for building software, which Epic thinks makes it a great platform for building the software that goes into cars.

“When you sit in the driver’s seat of a modern car today, the way you interact with the vehicle is different from a few years ago. Buttons and screens dominate the dashboard, steering wheel, and instrument pane, providing features that may be new to you. Electrification is at the root of many of these advances, with digital hardware such as cameras, sensors, and displays, combined with cutting-edge technology like Unreal Engine, forming a framework on which to build new experiences,” the company explains in a blog post. “At Epic Games, we’ve long been interested in the way the requirements for HMI development overlap with those of game development. Much of the functionality required to create HMI systems has been available in Unreal Engine for some time.”



a screen shot of a computer


© Image: Epic Games


Epic says carmakers like GMC and the user interface and user experience designers tasked with crafting the software that car owners will interact with in the finished product can do more

IonQ claims it has built the most powerful quantum computer yet

Trapped-ion quantum computing startup IonQ today announced the launch of its latest quantum computer, which features what IonQ calls “32 perfect qubits with low gate errors.”

Using IBM’s preferred quantum benchmark, IonQ expects to hit a quantum volume of 4,000,000. That’s a massive increase over the double-digit quantum volume numbers that IBM itself recently announced and it’s a pretty extraordinary claim on IonQ’s side, as this would make its system the most powerful quantum computer yet.

The (well-funded) company has never used this metric before. Through a spokesperson, IonQ also noted that it doesn’t necessarily think quantum volume is the best metric, but since the rest of the industry is using it, it decided to release this number. The company argues that its ability to achieve 99.9% fidelity between qubits has allowed it to achieve this breakthrough.

“In a single generation of hardware, we went from 11 to 32 qubits, and more importantly, improved the fidelity required to use all 32 qubits,” said IonQ CEO and president Peter Chapman . “Depending on the application, customers will need somewhere between 80 and 150 very high-fidelity qubits and logic gates to see quantum advantage. Our goal is to double or more the number of qubits each year. With two new generations of hardware already in the works, companies not working with quantum now are at risk of falling behind.”

the ion trap at the heart of IonQ's next-generation system
the ion trap at the heart of IonQ’s next-generation system

Image Credits: Kai Hudek, IonQ

It’s worth noting that IonQ’s trapped-ion approach is quite different from IBM’s (or D-Wave’s for that matter) which uses a very different technique. That makes it hard to compare raw qubit counts between different vendors. The quantum volume metric is meant to make it easier to compare these systems, however.

“The new system we’re deploying today is able