Volkswagen to test Quantum Navigation App in real traffic

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Volkswagen AG

It is planned to test a computer-powered navigation app in Lisbon next week, as part of a larger plan to include such an element in its vehicles in the next few years.

The Lisbon test is wasted to coincide with the city's Web Summit technology conference. IPads loaded with the “quantum routing” application will be on nine public buses traveling between riders and other parts of the city, including technology from D-Wave Systems Inc.. based in British Columbia.

The cloud based application uses cloud based computing to calculate the fastest way for each of these nine buses in real time. The goal is to help prevent traffic jams and cut down travel time, said

Martin Hofmann,

Volkswagen chief information officer.

The Volkswagen application differs from traditional driving navigation apps, displaying less congested vehicles, providing the same information for all vehicles in a given area. The VW app sets out a single route for each participating bus.

“We will change the way traffic moves, which is a milestone for us,” said Dr. Hofmann, which oversees information technology for Volkswagen 12 branding, including Audi, Porsche and Bentley.

The Volkswagen Lisbon test is wasted to coincide with the city's Web Summit technology conference.

Photo:

Volkswagen

Volkswagen hopes to spread the quantum routing element in mid 2020 to public transport partners in a high density city, possibly in Lisbon, said Dr. Hofmann.

Quantum computers are still a year away from large-scale commercial applications due to hardware challenges, experts say. But the experiment continues. Researchers at

Alphabet Inc.

Google announced last week that they took a machine that was able to generate about 1 million random string numbers in three minutes, a task they said would add 10,000 years of the fastest ordinary computers in the world.

Whether such power is needed for routing traffic it is to be discussed, Dan Garrison, master of technology architect at ACcenture PLC's quantum consultation practice. Volkswagen's pilot project shows that companies are getting better at understanding what can be done with a quantum computer, he said.

Vern Brownell,

Chief Executive of D-Wave Systems said that a request for quantification of business problems could be resolved, including more complex traffic optimization problems and outside the scope of computers today.

As part of an earlier collaboration between Volkswagen and D-Wave there was a simulation three years ago that created specific routes for 10,000 taxis traveling between the center of Beijing and the nearest airport, about 20 miles away, in the most time period. fastest without creating traffic jam.

The Lisbon test, while taking place on real streets, will be on a much smaller scale.

Buses in the Lisbon pilot will cover 26 stops, carrying thousands of riders in four directions from the conference center. One bus line, for example, will cover a number of stations between the conference center and Marquês de Pombal.

A pre-analytics tool running on a classic computer will identify 45 minutes before the expected high passenger numbers particularly in the 26 stops. To solve this calculation, a German auto maker uses anonymous data from users of mobile phones including GPS locations, date, time and movement.

The quantum computer will calculate the fastest way for each individual bus in milliseconds, taking into account millions of real-time data points for congestion and cancellation demand. Each bus will be assigned a single route every two minutes so that they do not delay traffic.

The same calculation would take many of the minutes on a classic computer, said Dr Hofmann.

“This work means that it is being implemented in real life,” he said

Scott Pakin,

computer scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Other car makers including

Ford Motor Co

they are testing how quantum computing could optimize driving routes and improve batteries of electric vehicles.

By 2023, 20% of organizations, including businesses and governments, are expected to make a budget for quantum computing projects, up from less than 1% in 2018, according to a technology research and advisory firm.

Gartner Inc.

Write Sara Castellanos at sara.castellanos@wsj.com

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