Livingston tech firm takes Quantum Leap into future of travel

Optimisation business forms partnership with Heriot-Watt and University of Oxford tech hubs to commercialise next-generation algorithms for transport and travel 

Interested in how next-generation algorithms will change mobility, transport and fleet operations? So was Livingston-based Route Monkey, which is now working on a new generation of transport and mobility algorithms for quantum computers.
The optimisation business, which is part of fleet management specialist Trakm8, has joined forces with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, with which it has already been working on creating and enhancing algorithms for transport and travel, and Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Hub led by the University of Oxford to 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.”
Trakm8 says Route Monkey’s optimisation solutions eliminate unnecessary mileage and improve vehicle utilisation, typically helping to reduce fleet costs by up to 20% and substantially cut carbon emissions.
It claims 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.
Ferguson 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 which provide route optimisation and scheduling software solutions for fleet and transport managers.
Building on this success, the business 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.
Route Monkey provides solutions for scheduling, modelling and optimisation of assets including people, goods, energy, infrastructure and vehicles and is also a pioneer in the optimisation of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), energy management solutions and Intelligent Mobility.
Its growing customer base for its route optimisation and scheduling algorithms includes household names such as Iceland. Route Monkey also works with, or has delivered projects for, UK government agencies and NGOs including Energy Savings Trust, Innovate UK, Scottish Enterprise, Transport for London and Transport Scotland.
About the UK National Technology Programme
The UK National Quantum Technologies Programme is an investment of £270 million over five years by the UK Government to establish a quantum technology industry in the UK, to get quantum technology out of laboratories and into the marketplace and to boost British business and make a real difference to our everyday lives. The programme is delivered by EPSRC, Innovate UK, BEIS, NPL, GCHQ, Dstl and the KTN.ENDS
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