Algorithms Quantum Programming Quantum Research

Toyota and Microsoft Quantum reduce carbon emissions 20% with Azure Quantum

August 10, 2020

Sadly the world still runs on carbon and despite the need to reduce it, or eliminate it completely there are still plenty of gas guzzlers on the road. The question is whether any optimization could help the environment without going full electric. Microsoft, Toyota and Jij worked on using Quantum algorithms to efficiently help traffic flow around the streets of Japan.

Many organizations are looking at Quantum Computing to solve tricky optimization problems or combinatorics problems which are often difficult on a classical computer. Microsoft (Azure Quantum) developed a more natural way of encoding problems allowing for the native encoding of higher-order interactions on an all-to-all graph, meaning that no mapping or embedding is needed, therefore unlocking applications that are seemingly intractable.

Founded in 2018 by physicists, Japanese startup Jij helps businesses like Toyota experiment with new computing techniques and apply quantum research to solve real-world problems. Many organizations have been looking at Binary Unconstrained Binary Optimization (QUBO) for solving optimization problems, but these binary optimization issues are often limited – however the work here extended to allow for Polynomial Unconstrained Binary Optimization (PUBO).

Founded in 2018 by physicists, Japanese startup Jij helps businesses like Toyota experiment with new computing techniques and apply quantum research to solve real-world problems

The techniques were used to solve traffic light timings. Working with the PUBO representation of the problem using QIO in Azure Quantum car waiting times by 20% when compared to traditional methods with large-scale classical simulation.

We previously had to simulate traffic for each individual light to find an improved sequence, but that approach was limited because we couldn’t factor in the time correlation of traffic flow between lights. Now with Azure Quantum, we can address this problem from a more systems-level approach. Collaborating with Toyota Tsusho, we seek to improve the timing of large-scale traffic networks, resulting in potential economic and environmental benefits for many cities.

Kohji Nishimura, CTO, Jij

About Jij

Jij is a venture company developing software for annealing equipment centered on quantum annealing established with the support of JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency)-START Project.

About Microsoft Azure Quantum

Azure Quantum is a one-stop-shop that gives the user the freedom to create their own path to scalable quantum computing based on the cloud computing solution from Microsoft. Read more about the research here. You can read about the run up to Quantum Azure.