Terra Quantum and Honda Research Institute Europe Develop Quantum ML Method for Disaster Routing

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St. Gallen, Munich and Frankfurt, Germany, September 21, 2023 – Quantum computing company Terra Quantum and Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU), a center for advanced research in intelligent systems, collaborated to develop new methods to shorten escape times in emergency situations.

In the joint project, they have demonstrated the potential of hybrid quantum computing methods to improve mobility systems in challenging conditions.

Over the past five decades, disaster occurrences have amplified fivefold, propelled by climate change, extreme weather patterns, among other factors. In disaster scenarios, a timely response is vital and significantly impacts public safety. However, the dynamic and unpredictable nature of these situations poses a severe challenge for technical solutions. The potential use of hybrid quantum technologies for optimizing evacuation routes during emergencies was evaluated by the two organizations.

As part of the proof of concept, an earthquake scenario was simulated on a realistic map of a smalltown. The novel solution demonstrated very promising results, predicting efficient dynamic escape routes for vehicles, and therefore minimizing evacuation times.

“Identifying realistic problems where quantum technologies may unfold their potential constitutes one of the biggest challenges in the field today. This work represents a promising step in that direction and shows how to employ hybrid quantum-classical learning architectures in a real-world use-case,” said Dr. Sebastian Schmitt, principal scientist at HRI-EU.

The developed quantum computing solution can account for numerous real-time variables and shows competitive efficiency results compared to traditional computing methods. It utilizes quantum machine learning and requires only local information to make decisions, which amounts to less than 1 percent of the map information — a crucial factor in an evolving and uncertain emergency scenario. The solutions are obtained from quantum simulations performed on classical computing hardware. This application can be extended to be executed on large-scale quantum computing hardware in the future.

After this POC, Terra Quantum will continue to develop the solution, working towards the applicability in a broad range of scenarios in various city landscapes. More details can be found in the recent preprint paper on Arxiv.