Volkswagen Working on Quantum for Solace in Traffic

Volkswagen is using some fancy computer tech to help manage traffic more effectively.

The automaker has been using quantum computing for some time, working to use the advanced computer power to develop new and practical applications. Quantum computers can solve complex tasks like traffic optimization much more quickly than conventional supercomputers.

VW’s latest work developed a new algorithm that could help manage traffic for taxi companies making idle time for them, and long wait times for customers, a thing of the past.

The automaker’s computer experts used movement data taken from smartphones and vehicle transmitters to calculate traffic accumulations and how many people were involved in those accumulations. That means things like how many passengers there could be for a cab or bus. It then used an algorithm to best assign vehicles to different demand areas to meet that demand. By predicting demand and location, the algorithm can reduce idle and empty ride times. For Volkswagen, this could be a service they could sell. Helping to improve mobility as a service. It would work for transit bus services, not just taxi companies, in order to optimize services.

The company hasn’t yet tested the process. They want to try it out in Barcelona, Spain, first, as the company already has a big enough database for that city. It is working with cell-phone provider Orange and data specialists Teralytics. Google is getting access to quantum computing networks through Google and D-Wave.