Volkswagen and D-Wave optimize traffic flow with quantum computers

Volkswagen is launching in Lisbon the world’s first pilot project for traffic optimization using a quantum computer. For this purpose, the company is equipping MAN buses of the public transport provider Carris with a traffic management system developed in-house.

This system uses a D-Wave quantum computer and calculates the fastest route for each of the nine participating buses individually and almost in real-time. This way, passengers’ travel times will be significantly reduced, even during peak traffic periods, and traffic flow will be improved.

The Volkswagen traffic management system includes two components – passenger number prediction and route optimization by quantum computing. For predictions, the development team from Volkswagen is using data analytics tools to identify stops with especially high passenger numbers at certain times. The Volkswagen experts have developed a quantum algorithm for route optimization between the stops. This algorithm calculates the fastest route for each individual bus in the fleet and optimizes it almost on a real-time basis. In contrast to conventional navigation services, the quantum algorithm assigns each bus an individual route. This way, each bus can drive around traffic bottlenecks along the route at an early stage and avoid traffic jams before they even arise.

Volkswagen is testing its traffic optimization system during the WebSummit technology conference in Lisbon from November 4 to 8 – during the conference, buses will carry thousands of passengers through the city traffic in Lisbon. (Volkswagen Group)

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