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29.01.2016 0:0 Uhr Berlin

Ideas competition for "Your digital travel companion" proves massive success

650 ideas submitted • Suggestions to be developed further with the contributors in the "d.lab" passenger transport innovation laboratory • DB working on 260 projects to digitalise its products

The ideas competition launched in November 2015 – "Your digital travel companion of tomorrow: shaping the future of travel together" – proved an enormous success. The DB Ideenschmiede (ideas forge) web platform saw more than 23,000 visitors and recorded over 650 ideas. Users selected the 30 best ideas submitted, from which Deutsche Bahn's (DB) expert jury crowned three winners.

  • "Travel guide: what can you see from the window?" (a fun way to find out more about the view from the train)
  • "DB server system at stations and station announcements" (passengers can listen to and read station announcements live on their mobile devices)
  • "Order food, drink and newspapers straight to your seat by smartphone" (digital call button app for train journeys)

These suggestions are now being explored in the "d.lab" on "co-creation days". Together with the ideas' contributors, the lab is using the design thinking approach to develop prototypes and test them on other customers. The design thinking approach involves multidisciplinary teams solving problems and developing new ideas from a user's perspective. The prototypes will be presented to the DB jury in early March so that a decision can be made on investment. The aim is to implement at least three of the ideas. In addition to their invitation to the "d.lab" in Frankfurt am Main, the winners received a BahnCard 100 worth EUR 4,090.00.

"Customer focus is at the heart of everything we examine, test and develop at the DB Group. It is not just about developing innovations for customers, but with them, too," said DB CEO, Dr Rüdiger Grube. Even after the competition has finished, DB plans to continue working with customers through the Ideenschmiede platform to forge plenty more new ideas.

Alongside the ideas competition, DB is now working hard on 260 projects to digitalise its products, services and processes. These include the new ICE portal for long-distance transport and free WiFi for all passengers on the Berlin–Hamburg IRE service in regional transport.

The free ICE portal offers passengers live information on their journey (including arrival times and connections) as well as interesting features on the places along the route and the latest news articles and pictures from the tagesschau. Passengers can access the portal on their mobile devices on almost all ICE trains.

As a second innovation, free WiFi has been available for all passengers on IRE trains between Berlin and Hamburg since November. Other WiFi pilot projects are also taking place in regional transport. DB is currently testing suburban trains with WiFi connectivity on the Stuttgart S-Bahn, for example.