Toyota Central R&D Labs: A Quantum Approach to Transportation

Coordinating traffic signals in a large city is a complex task to start with. Doing so in a way that minimizes the possibility of traffic jams and optimizes overall traffic flow is an almost impossible task using conventional computing methods. Various workarounds that have been proposed up to now require local control methods, which break the traffic grid into smaller pieces to control each signal according to the status of nearby intersections. Using the D-Wave quantum system, researchers at Toyota Central R&D Labs (Toyota CRDL), in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, set out to develop new global control methods, which consider the full grid when optimizing each signal, while responding quickly to changes in traffic flow patterns.