Although quantum computers are still in high testing, Ford hopes the radical new technology will improve transportation. In partnership with Microsoft, Ford used “quantum-inspired” technology to conduct new experiments. Although not based on a real quantum computer, it can still test new traffic routing algorithms with “quantum thinking”. In a traffic simulation of 5,000 cars, it reduces congestion in Seattle by 73% and reduces commute times by 8%.
(Pictured: Ford, via Cnet)
Today, quantum computing technology is still operating in harsh and expensive conditions, not to mention requiring a team of experts to program and operate. Even so, the experiment offers a deep application.
Mainstream applications of quantum computers may still have to wait years. In order to unlock this completely different type of data processing, the industry needs to seek new breakthroughs.
Ford and Microsoft are reported to have modified the flow simulation scheme for quantum computing to run on classic computers. It turns out that a new algorithm can reduce local traffic congestion by 73%.
The company says the choice of transport routes is important. It’s not just about a single car, it’s about the mobility of a wider area. The good news is that quantum computers have the advantage.
“Our growing quantum computing team is working with Microsoft and other companies to study how to apply this technology in areas such as robotics and aerodynamics,” Ken Washington, Ford’s chief technology officer, said in a blog post Tuesday.
Although we are still in the early stages of quantum computing, encouraging progress has been made. It helps us master at least what we’ve learned in this area and solve problems in the moment, while expanding into more complex areas.
Quantum computers use qubits to process data, unlike the 0s and 1s used in traditional computers, but can be used by quantum entanglement to present different qubits at the exponential level, which can be used to explore potential solutions to problems.
In fact, however, Microsoft points out that Ford did not use a real quantum computer in this Seattle traffic simulation, but instead ran the modified quantum algorithm on classic computer hardware.
Even so, Ford’s “selfish” path selection system allows each car to calculate its own best route compared to the traffic path selection under the “balance” strategy, which requires 20 seconds of calculation time.