Global logistics will become a USD 15.5 Trillion, market spanning across many industries such as logistics, road and air freight, shipping, railroads, supply chain management, car navigation, fleet management, traffic management and more. Each year, 17 million containers are moved around the world; over 70 million cars are manufactured; and drivers in the biggest cities lose entire weeks waiting in traffic. The scale as well as the number of factors influencing a typical logistics operation are source to many problems such as delays, lost revenue and sunk costs. And like any other industry, the mobility sector is bound for big disruptions in the upcoming years. One such disruption will come from Quantum Computing.
A Quantum Computer in logistics?
In a previous blog post we covered how a Quantum Computer (QC) works. Though we won’t cover this again it is worth mentioning that among their many strengths, Quantum Computers are well suited for solving combinatorial optimization problems. Whether you want to plan the dinner seating of 10 of your friends at a table, schedule your daily errands’ route or optimise a bank’s derivative portfolio, a QC has got your back!
And this is also where Quantum Computing and logistics meet. After all improving the performance of a logistics company relies highly on solving complex optimisation problems. Route planning, the Travelling Salesman Problem, flight scheduling and many more are all reliant on a company’s ability to optimise. Optimise a lot and optimise fast. Any large scale logistics operation depends on numerous variables and is constantly affected by an unlimited number of factors. As new data arrives constantly with every minute of the day and night, companies are more and more reliant on their ability to process it as fast as possible, in real-time.
Those optimisation problems come in many forms and shapes – as well as varying degrees of difficulty. Most optimisation problems will fall under the NP-complete category which makes them too difficult to solve on a classical machine. The promise of Quantum Computing is that QCs will solve such problems faster, solve them better and eventually to solve the unsolved. Solving such problems faster resides in the fact that QC hardware has the potential to compute 100 millions times faster than a classical computer. This means that each optimisation problem currently solved with classical hardware could be solved in a small fraction of time. This in turn leads to solving such problems better because more data can be taken into account along with more variables and more scenarios which can affect a given optimisation problem. This will become increasingly important as we increase the number of sensors functioning in the transportation space. For instance, with connected cars and V2V/V2X communication we gather data about every turn, every route, every road condition and thousands of other factors that can be used to improve the process of fleet management, traffic management or route scheduling. A Quantum Computer – could take into account all those factors and variables and still solve an optimisation problem.
This eventually leads to solving many unsolvable problems. Optimising traffic lights in a city like Warsaw (Poland) would have a total of 120800 combinations. Computing this on a classical computer would take too much time for it to be practical in any way. Therefore the exponential speed up of quantum computing will allow to tap into issues which were previously too complicated and time-consuming to solve.
Eventually, the use of Quantum Computers in the mobility segment could reduce costs and improve numerous processes such as:
and can offer billions in saved costs to the following companies:
What should your company do?
Quantum Computing in logistics & mobility isn’t merely a theoretical trifle.
It is an area of practical work & research by various international corporations. So if your company has not yet started acting in that space, you can be sure your competitors have.
Companies which are heavily invested in that area are primarily automakers. Volkswagen, Daimler, and Toyota are all exploring how to apply quantum computing to such areas as fleet management, traffic flow optimisation, IoT data analysis and many more. For such clients, even minor optimisation improvements translate into potential millions in savings. With solutions based on quantum computing those gain can very easily reach billions saved annually.
This is exactly the value we want to bring leading international players in the mobility sector. Our company went through a 3-month acceleration program in partnership with the Polish Post Office (Poczta Polska S.A.) during which we covered the opportunities that our solution could bring to optimising routes for their fleet of over 5000 vehicles. In the next week we will begin our participation in the Impact Connected Car acceleration program. We have been selected as the only CEE company to take part in the acceleration which offers us partnerships with such companies and institutions as Ferrovial, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, Groupe PSA, CTAG or INSERO. We intend to further develop our quantum computing technology to see how it can impact the automotive sector.
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