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Microsoft, Ford Try Using Quantum-Style Computing to Solve Seattle's Traffic Problem

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Traffic in Seattles South Lake Union neighborhood.

Microsoft and Ford are using quantum-inspired simulations to try to improve traffic in Seattle.

Credit: Kevin Lisota/GeekWire

Microsoft and Ford Motor are using quantum-inspired computing models to try to optimize traffic management in Seattle.

Ford chief technology officer Ken Washington said timely optimization using an enormous number of possible route assignments is not feasible with traditional computers, so the partners have experimented with algorithms that simulate a quantum approach on classical systems.

The researchers tested various scenarios, including one involving about 5,000 vehicles concurrently requesting routes that spanned the Seattle area. Washington said the algorithms sent balanced routing suggestions to the vehicles in 20 seconds, improving congestion by 73% versus "selfish" routing, while cutting average commuting time by 8%.

Said Microsoft's Julie Love, “We don't have to wait until quantum computers are deployed on a wide scale to take advantage of the technology."

From GeekWire
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