Volkswagen demonstrates first successful real-world use of quantum computing to help optimize traffic routing

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A quantum computer from D-Wave. Copyright: D-Wave.

Volkswagen AG has successfully demonstrated the world’s first live use of quantum computing to help optimize traffic routing. During the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal, nine public transit buses used a traffic management system developed by Volkswagen scientists in the United States and Germany, powered by a D-Wave quantum computer, to calculate the fastest travel routes individually and in near-real time. (Earlier post.)

For more than two decades, advanced computing has held the promise of untangling the increasing traffic flow in modern cities. Today, modern navigation software can easily provide an individual vehicle with the shortest path by distance or time to any given destination taking existing traffic into account. But those calculations can’t take other vehicles’ navigation choices into account, so that when a system tells vehicles to re-route around a backup, it can create another cascading set of backups by directing too much traffic through chokepoints.

Volkswagen experts helped developed the Quantum Routing algorithm and data management system that runs on the D-Wave quantum computer in house, collaborating with specialists Hexad and PTV Group to round out the project. (Earlier post.)

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These are the 20 most congested cities in the world

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  • The transportation data firm INRIX Research released on Tuesday its annual rankings of the most congested cities in the world.
  • Cities were ranked based on delays caused by congestion, adjusted for each city’s population.
  • Moscow was named the most congested city in the world for the second year in a row, and Europe had more cities in the top 20 than any other continent.

The transportation data firm INRIX Research released on Tuesday its annual rankings of the most congested cities in the world.

The company measured the amount of time lost per capita in 2018 due to the difference between traffic at the busiest and least busy commuting times each day. Cities were ranked based on delays caused by congestion, adjusted for each city’s population.

Moscow was named the most congested city in the world for the second year in a row, and Europe had more cities in the top-20 than any other continent.

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The road to seamless urban mobility

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Will the coming mobility revolution make urban traffic better, or worse?

The age of modern transit began in 1863, when the first underground railway began rolling in central London. The line was short and smoky, and nothing like it had ever been seen before. But it worked, and cities around the world began to follow London’s lead. Over time, city authorities came to see providing transportation as one of their core responsibilities; governments often owned and ran transit systems themselves.

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Toyota’s driverless cars will be able to talk to each other in the future

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Cars will be able to talk to each other to avoid accidents, merge onto highways and drive us to a destination we set on the GPS sometime in the near future. This type of technology is actually already on the roads across the world and will be rolling out in Australia over the next few years.

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Why fraudulent ad networks are thriving

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When an advertising network is turned off and traffic plummets (top) while conversions stay steady (bottom), investigators have pinpointed fraudulent ad traffic. Source: Augustine Fou

A brand manager at a medical device company was examining a chart of daily traffic to his website. On the chart he saw that one day in August, web traffic plunged, and locked in at a new normal about half of its previous level. For someone responsible for a website’s traffic, the scale and swiftness of the drop should have made him gasp, but the manager nodded knowingly.

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Why UPS trucks never turn left

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UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency.

UPS announced a new policy for its drivers in 2004: the right way to get to any destination was to avoid left-hand turns. Even if that means following this route that a UPS driver described to an incredulous press member:

“We’re gonna make a right turn onto 135th to Western. We’ll make another right on Western down to 139th. Right turn on 139th and go down to the end of the block and we’ll make another right turn.”

 

 

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