Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but we are seeing more and more applications where the quantum algorithms can be applied today. Volkswagen plans to use quantum computation to predict the traffic and to manage the flow on the roads effectively.
Traditional traffic management systems created by conventional supercomputers can only process a given amount of data. While those systems take into account many things and continuously improve over time, their quantum computer counterparts can work much faster and make more accurate predictions. Volkswagen believes that using quantum technology, the cities will solve particularly difficult issues with traffic and create newer business models to address the problem.
Despite being complex, the new algorithm relies on traditional data transmitted by smart devices and in-vehicle transmitters. The data passed by standard computers then accumulates and gets transmitted to the quantum model for a given area. From there, the algorithm optimizes that data and makes meaningful predictions.
VW has demonstrated the practical example of using its model. The public service might use the algorithm to determine the exact amount of people who will be there around the city. Then, the public transportation service can deploy x amount of vehicles to that area on demand. The manufacturer has plans offering this as a service to taxi driving companies and the algorithm might also be embedded in future autonomous shuttles.
The company will test its algorithm in Barcelona – where the huge amount of daily traffic data is already accumulated and available. VW is currently working in partnership with Google and D-Wave on its quantum computing projects.
In case you are wondering, quantum computing is a very complicated topic. It replaces traditional binary (0 or 1) bits to a quantum bit which can reside in multiple states at once. This increases the calculation speed beyond the traditional computer.