This study introduces a quantum-behaved lightening search algorithm (QLSA) to improve the search capability of every step leader to find a projectile position. The QLSA improves the indirect field-oriented fuzzy-PI controller technique to control a three-phase induction motor (TIM). The generated adaptive PI current control parameters and fuzzy membership functions (MFs) are carried to design induction motor (IM) drive speed controller to minimize the fitness function formulated by QLSA. An optimal QLSA-based indirect field-oriented control (QLSA-IFOC) fitness function is used to reduce the mean absolute error (MAE) of the rotor speed to improve the performance of the TIM with varying speed and mechanical load. Results obtained from the QLSA-IFOC are compared with those obtained through lightening search algorithm (LSA), gravitational search algorithm (GSA), backtracking search algorithm (BSA), and particle swarm optimization (PSO) to validate the developed controller. The optimization results of objective functions in terms of box plots and iterations show that the QLSA algorithm outperforms the other optimization algorithms. Moreover, the QLSA-IFOC controller performed well in all tests in terms of transient response. The developed controller also minimizes overshoot, increases damping capability and reduces of the root mean square error (RMSE) as well as standard division (SD) under sudden change of sped and mechanical loads.