Quantum: Computing’s Next Wave (Shane Tews, 12/11/23, AEIdeas)

Below are the highlights from my conversation with Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave, a commercial quantum company.

You mentioned autonomous vehicles and scheduling. Is that supply chain management scheduling that you’re talking about?

We have a customer that provides software to shipping ports to manage how cranes move cargo containers across the port from the ships onto the port, and then ultimately, on to the trucks. Our customer quantum-enabled their software to help compute the optimal movement of the cranes moving containers throughout the port. They found that using the schedules generated by the quantum computer, each crane could move up to 60 percent more containers in a day than the schedules the classical computers were developing. This has allowed them to increase the throughput through the port by about 12 percent. So this is a very concrete example, in the supply chain logistics arena of how quantum computers today can add value.

We keep hearing that quantum isn’t here yet, but you already have customers.

Yes, we have over 60 customers that we are working with to leverage our quantum computer today across a variety of different industries and use cases. For example, we’re working with MasterCard on improving customer loyalty rewards—basically optimizing which programs get offered to which card holders and on fraud detection. We’re working with Davidson technology, as a government contractor, on missile targeting as well as radar assignment. We’re working with grocery chain Patterson food group on employee scheduling, e-commerce, and grocery delivery.