Ford and Microsoft trial quantum computing to reduce congestion

Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts on 12 December 2019
Ford and Microsoft trial quantum computing to reduce congestion

Ford and Microsoft are running a trial using quantum computing to reduce traffic jams. They are running thousands of simulations to address the congestion problem that arises when drivers are following the same directions from satellite navigation apps. 

“During rush hour driving, numerous drivers request the shortest possible routes at the same time, but current navigation services handle these requests in a vacuum,” wrote Ken Washington, chief technology officer at Ford Motor Group, in a post on Medium. “They do not take into consideration the number of similar incoming requests, including areas where other drivers are all planning to share the same route segments.” 

The two companies are working to create a solution that focuses less on individualised routing, where each person gets the best route for themselves, and more on balanced routing, which considers all requests. This type of system could then optimise suggestions for everyone so that “the number of vehicles sharing the same roads is minimised,” Washington wrote. 

The partnership is testing the theory further, with the hopes of smoothing traffic flow, making commutes more efficient and reducing pollution. 

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