Terra Quantum and Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU) have collaborated to develop new methods to shorten escape times in emergency situations.

In the joint project, Terra Quantum and HRI-EU have demonstrated the potential of hybrid quantum computing methods to improve mobility systems in challenging conditions.

“We are very pleased with the results of our collaboration with HRI-EU. This is just the start, we see the huge potential in applying quantum technologies in the automotive and mobility sectors,” says Markus Pflitsch, founder and CEO at Terra Quantum.

Over the past five decades, disaster occurrences have amplified five-fold, 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.

In collaborating, the potential use of hybrid quantum technologies for optimizing evacuation routes during emergencies was evaluated.

As part of the proof of concept (PoC), an earthquake scenario was simulated on a realistic map of a small town. The novel solution demonstrated very promising results, predicting efficient dynamic escape routes for vehicles, and therefore minimising 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,” says 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 uses quantum machine learning and requires only local information to make decisions, which amounts to less than 1% 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.

Following the success of this PoC, Terra Quantum will continue to develop the solution, working towards the applicability in a broad range of scenarios in various city landscapes.