Cambridge Quantum and Deutsche Bahn employ Quantum Algorithms to Optimise Train Scheduling

In the quest for more real-world Quantum use-cases, Cambridge Quantum (CQ) and Deutsche Bahn Netz AG (DB) announced today a partnership to explore how quantum computers can improve the rescheduling of rail traffic as part of DB’s long-term transformative plan. Classically the problem can be intensive requiring vast computational resources to crunch through all the possibilities of rosters for example. The problem set is one that is often touted as a putative use case for Quantum Computing.

“We are very excited to be working with Deutsche Bahn to explore and demonstrate the utility of today’s Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (“NISQ”) processors to solve real-world problems in the transport and logistics sector. Deutsche Bahn’s research and development efforts in this area are of critical importance, and we are confident that over time as quantum computers start to scale, our work with the will lead to a meaningful contribution towards a cleaner and greener future.”

The CEO of Cambridge Quantum, Ilyas Khan

CQ’s latest combinatorial optimisation algorithm Filtering Variational Quantum Eigensolver (F-VQE) coupled with DB’s operations research expertise, the team re-optimised realistic train timetables after simulated delays and are now identifying areas for continued study. This collaboration shows how innovation in both quantum algorithms and domain-specific modelling can generate a long-term vision for a faster and greener transportation network.

“The collaboration with CQ is a perfect example of how Deutsche Bahn is working as a partner with industry providers and combining our relative expertise towards a goal neither side can achieve alone. By working with CQ, we have fine-tuned our research and development plans and taken the first steps in defining a future quantum-advantaged train timetabling system. We are excited to continue working with CQ to address some of the key challenges and contribute to the rapidly evolving field of NISQ quantum algorithm research.

Michael Küpper, lead of Capacity and Traffic Management System at Digitale Schiene Deutschland