A quantum leap in faster and safer travel
NSW is leading the world with an ambitious plan to use quantum technology to run the transport network, saving travellers time and potentially even their lives.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said in an unprecedented leap from current computers, quantum computing would process and analyse massive amounts of information almost instantaneously, allowing customers to more accurately track the location and capacity of a train or bus.
“This ground-breaking technology can also calculate potentially life-saving information during a bushfire or flood by mapping out the safest route on the road network or to the closest evacuation centre,” Mr Toole said.
“The faster you get information in an emergency, the better your chances of protecting life and property are, so this will be a game changer when it’s rolled out to the regions.”
Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said quantum technology would boost the computing power needed to reduce delays, improve reliability and optimise journeys.
“While this might sound like the stuff of science fiction, Transport for NSW is making quantum computing a reality. It has the potential to solve problems on the network in real time by instantly recalculating timetables and routes,” Mr Stokes said.
“It could essentially become a ‘self-healing’ network that interacts with cutting-edge technologies, including autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and smart sensors. It may also allow Transport for NSW to give customers personalised real-time information to make their journeys faster, safer and more reliable.”
As part of this plan, Transport for NSW is establishing a Centre of Quantum Technology based in Sydney’s Tech Central, which will be co-led by a dedicated quantum technology director and a fellow of Quantum Technology.
The Centre will draw on an Expert Advisory Panel consisting of pioneers from government, industry and university sectors, including 2018 Australian of the Year and University of NSW Professor Michelle Simmons.
“To be at the leading edge of technology is not only exciting but essential for our future. This is an example of where the State of NSW is getting ahead of the game and preparing for the future. It is building a scientific capability that we are going to need and we are shoring this up now with the ultimate aim of making people’s lives better,” Professor Simmons said.
Transport for NSW is also seeking Expressions of Interest from global industry leaders, academics and start-ups to help research, develop and implement quantum technology pilots and trials across the transport network.
Industry briefing sessions will take place in the coming weeks with a plan to award contracts and finalise co-investment proposals in early 2022