NSW looks to quantum computing to improve the state's transport system

The state government hopes using Q-CTRL's quantum technology will allow it to have a transport system that 'talks'.

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Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) has partnered with quantum computing firm Q-CTRL to determine how the latter's technology can help with the state government's transport network.

The partnership, Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said, could see the "world's smartest computer" be used to tackle Sydney's complex transport problems, including updating schedules in real time if there is crowding on the network.

"This is a rare opportunity for some of our leading transport innovators and quantum computing experts to come together to tackle complex transport network management and congestion problems," Constance said.

See also: NSW looks to biometric payments and Netflix-like public transport subscriptions

According to the minister, future applications of the technology could include mapping all transport modes and crowd movements simultaneously in real time and automatically updating the schedule to solve disruption issues.

"We could see all trains, busses, ferries, trams, and motorways essentially 'talking to each other' to find out where customers are and deploy resources where needed. It could be used for massive public events, like New Year's Eve," he added.

Q-CTRL is a commercial spinoff from the University of Sydney (USyd).

With USyd playing its part in Australia's quantum achievements, the latest comes from science undergraduate Pablo Bonilla Ataides, who this week had his second-year physics project making its way into Amazon Web Service's (AWS) quantum computing program.

Bonilla's work of tweaking code to effectively double its capacity to correct errors in the quantum machines has the attention of quantum researchers at the AWS Center for Quantum Computing in Pasadena, California, and the quantum technology programs at Yale University and Duke University in the United States.

The results of Bonilla's study are to feature in AWS' arsenal of error correction techniques as it develops its quantum hardware.

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