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Route Monkey working with NQIT to develop transport & mobility algorithms for quantum computers

Scotland-based route optimization specialist Route Monkey, a unit of telematics and big data company Trakm8, is working on a new generation of transport and mobility algorithms for quantum computers.

Route Monkey already works with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on creating and enhancing innovative algorithms for transport and travel (earlier post). The two are now joining forces with the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub (NQIT), led by the University of Oxford. Together, the three organizations will develop, test and commercialize quantum algorithms.

The leap forward in the capabilities offered by quantum computing opens up a whole new field. We can create algorithms that deliver even faster and more accurate answers, to ever more complex transport and mobility challenges.

—Colin Ferguson, Trakm8 Group’s Managing Director of Fleet and Optimization

A quantum computer is a device that exploits the “weirdness” of quantum mechanics to be a more powerful type of computer. Currently, each bit in a computer is either at zero or one. A quantum computer has quantum bits, which can be zero, one, or in-between; they can even have several different values at the same time. For algorithm-based solutions, this means that the quantum computer only has to run one set of calculations to analyze various scenarios. It can also deal with much larger, more complex data sets and crunch the numbers much faster.

Simple demonstrations of programmable quantum computers have already been carried out in labs. Typically about 8 or so qubits (quantum bits; the measure of the number of quantum components in the computer) have been achieved. Very simple algorithms have been demonstrated. NQIT has demonstrated all the building blocks needed for a quantum computer.

NQIT is the largest of the four hubs in the UK National Quantum Technology Programme, a £270-million (US$332-million) investment by the UK government to establish a quantum technology industry in the UK. NQIT is working towards building a quantum computer demonstrator, the Q20:20 engine, which demonstrates a networked, hybrid light-matter approach to quantum information processing.

The Hub’s core proposition is that networking together smaller quantum systems results in a powerful and flexible information processing platform.

Route Monkey’s optimization solutions eliminate unnecessary mileage and improve vehicle utilisation, typically helping to reduce fleet costs by up to 20% and substantially cut carbon emissions. The algorithms are capable of making millions of calculations in a relatively short space of time, vastly improving on manual transport planning. They provide a competitive edge to businesses and also help cities deal with growing urban challenges like congestion.

Founded in 2009, Route Monkey initially focused on developing complex algorithms that provide route optimization and scheduling software solutions for fleet and transport managers. Building on this success, Route Monkey has expanded its algorithm portfolio to support low carbon vehicles and is now the UK’s leading provider of optimization solutions for both ultra-low emission vehicles and the energy management of their charging stations.

Heriot-Watt University has proven capabilities in mobility algorithm development, while Route Monkey is an acknowledged leader in the application and commercialization of these algorithms. Together we have all the right ingredients to develop, test and apply truly innovative quantum algorithms for optimizing urban mobility.

—Dr Iris Choi, Technology Associate at the NQIT Hub



Nice to see an application for quantum computers.

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I am frustrated. I can’t find a source on the internet that can explain me how a quantum computer works so that I actually understand it. It is probably my limit. I am simply not intelligent enough to get it.

In the old computer a bit is created by a transistor that can either let electricity pass or block it. So you get 0 or 1 which is the basis of all machine language that all higher level software can be compiled to. Anyone out there with a good internet source for dummies like me that can explain how this functions in a quantum computer?

I get it that quantum computers has the potential to be incomprehensible fast like trillions of times faster than anything that can be build using conventional computer technology. So one obvious application for such a powerful computer is to break encrypted messages and this is why the military sponsor most development of quantum computers. Another application will be to create more powerful AIs.


@Change, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Almost no-one knows how quantum computers work. (I certainly don't).
As long as you can make "knowing" comments, you will be OK.

Here's the wiki article:

(Good luck!)


Not wishing to explain things that are beyond my pay grade or able to pronounce let alone spell,
It is true to say that quantum computing is blindingly fast and has application in breaking conventional encryption keys.

But there is another side.

There are two quantum methods.
Particle entanglement and Photon spin.I haven't any knowledge of the former.Or current development.

The idea of decryption is relevant to secure information or malicious hacking especially of encrypted transmissions ***eves*** dropping is one of the recognised abilities of quantum computing, the less well known but interesting quality is that quantum transmission is inherently secure and *not able to be hacked or viewed by a third party without altering the transmission*.

That is the common understanding.

Photon spin explanations etc are usually understood by non physics maths professors by a visualisation.
You can imagine it as you can. Some people are better at that than others. My white board is a bit full so don't need to go there.

The interesting thing I have found and is not often stated is that as (we know) it operates with optics (photons) there are limitations to distance through optical fiber purity and for transmission through air.
My understanding is that therefore it is not available for wireless or satellite.

That must mean the 'LAN network' or secure link for automotive application is only within a processor and not a conventional wireless or copper wired type.

It would be available to network system operators programmers etc.

"How It Works in Practice

In practice, quantum cryptography has been demonstrated in the laboratory by IBM and others, but over relatively short distances. Recently, over longer distances, fiber optic cables with incredibly pure optic properties have successfully transmitted photon bits up to 60 kilometers. Beyond that, BERs (bit error rates) caused by a combination of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and microscopic impurities in the fiber make the system unworkable. Some research has seen successful transmission through the air, but this has been over short distances in ideal weather conditions. It remains to be seen how much further technology can push forward the distances at which quantum cryptography is practical."

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Thank you for the links. Problem is as I read on I encounter words and concepts that are part of the explanation and that are new to me. When I look these words up I hit new words and concepts that are also new to me and really soon you realize that in order to get it you need to spend years learning new concepts, new math language and mathematical theorems, etc just to be able to read and understand elementary stuff in quantum physics. Frankly I believe that only a tiny fraction of humanity is born with a brain that is capable of understanding this stuff. Einstein and Bohr had this ability but they may be the one in a million babies that are born with this ability to understand quantum physics if they are given the chance to learn about it when growing up.

Unfortunately I think I was born too limited. No matter how hard I try in this field I will fail. This is really frustrating. Musk is talking about humanity may one day need to implant AI computers in our brains and connect it directly to our cortex for maximum input output capability to be able to keep up with AI robots that otherwise will become superior to humans in all regards and in a benign case will treat us as their pets for entertainment. If this tech is developed and I can afford it who knows I might still have a chance to lean all about quantum physics and how to use it for making ultra fast computers.

Dr. Strange Love

Ubiquitous traveling salesman problem. Network optimization algorithms.

I love it.

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