Route Monkey Takes Quantum Leap for Fleet Optimisation

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Trakm8’s optimisation business, Route Monkey, is working with NQIT on a new generation of transport and mobility algorithms for quantum computers.

Livingston-based Route Monkey already works with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on creating and enhancing innovative algorithms for transport and travel. They are now joining forces with the Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Hub, led by the University of Oxford. Together, the three organisations will develop, test and commercialise quantum algorithms.

Colin Ferguson, Trakm8 Group’s Managing Director of Fleet and Optimisation, said:

“The leap forward in the capabilities offered by quantum computing opens up a whole new field. We can create algorithms that deliver even faster and more accurate answers, to ever more complex transport and mobility challenges.”

Route Monkey’s optimisation solutions eliminate unnecessary mileage and improve vehicle utilisation, typically helping to reduce fleet costs by up to 20 per cent and substantially cut carbon emissions. The algorithms are capable of making millions of calculations in a relatively short space of time, vastly improving on manual transport planning. They provide a competitive edge to businesses and also help cities deal with growing urban challenges like congestion.

Colin added:

“With Heriot-Watt University and the NQIT Hub, we can address the increasingly complex challenges of moving people and goods around our cities, while simultaneously cutting wasted miles and reducing emissions from road transport.”

Founded in 2009, Route Monkey initially focused on developing complex algorithms that provide route optimisation and scheduling software solutions for fleet and transport managers. Building on this success, Route Monkey has expanded its algorithm portfolio to support low carbon vehicles and is now the UK’s leading provider of optimisation solutions for both ultra-low emission vehicles and the energy management of their charging stations.

Dr Iris Choi, Technology Associate at the NQIT Hub, said:

“Heriot-Watt University has proven capabilities in mobility algorithm development, while Route Monkey is an acknowledged leader in the application and commercialisation of these algorithms.

“Together we have all the right ingredients to develop, test and apply truly innovative quantum algorithms for optimising urban mobility.”

Currently, each bit in a computer is either at zero or one. A quantum computer has quantum bits, which can be zero, one, or in between. They can even have several different values at the same time. For algorithm-based solutions, this means that the quantum computer only has to run one set of calculations to analyse various scenarios. It can also deal with much larger, more complex data sets and crunch the numbers much faster.

About the project

The project, funded by the NQIT  Hub, is a collaboration between Route Monkey (CEO Colin Ferguson), computer scientist Prof. David Corne and quantum physicist Dr. Alessandro Fedrizzi, both at Heriot-Watt University, and quantum information scientist Prof. Elham Kashefi at Edinburgh University. The project is staffed by quantum physicist Dr Václav Potoček, a senior research associate at Heriot-Watt University.

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