From the travel planner to the address system
Investment in digital mobility
Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures finances and develops new data-based business models. In addition to the technology focus on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), the main focus is on market change, to show founders and technology partners their ability to establish future-oriented customer solutions in the three fields of mobility, logistics and smart cities. Boris Kühn, one of the two managing directors of DB Digital Ventures: "We invest in start-ups which are active in these areas with a digital business model and a certain disruptive potential. These start-ups do not have to be closely linked to our core business. The start-ups are not only gaining venture capital, but also get access to experts and data. Through the exchange with start-ups, we are accelerating the innovation and growth potential of our entire company."
In order to promote start-ups and new data-based business models, DB Digital Ventures is expected to provide € 100 million of risk capital by the end of 2019. Deutsche Bahn has invested in these start-ups through minority interests:
The mobility platform Qixxit is a travel planner which intelligently connects various modes of transport and providers and finds the best routes. Qixxit compares trains, flights and busses. This way, travelers arrive cleverly, comfortably, quickly and conveniently at their destination. Qixxit was founded in 2012 by Deutsche Bahn. Today, the international team of travel-inspired experts in Europe's start-up capital Berlin is working independently on the most customer-friendly intermodal travel planner for long-distance connections in Germany and Europe.
Founded in 2013, the British company what3words has divided the world into a grid of 57 billion square meters of 3x3 meters. The coordinates of each of these squares are assigned to unique three-word addresses. With the help of what3words, sites can be communicated and found in a precise and simple way. This means that there is an address for every place worldwide, even where no house number or postal code exists. Courier services in Europe and the US use what3words already today to deliver goods more quickly and precisely. In logistics, Deutsche Bahn is also trying to use what3words. DB also sees great potential in the development of autonomous vehicle fleets in public mobility, since what3words allows an exact navigation.
The Deutsche Bahn headquarter at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin is the first company building in Germany with an official what3words address. Head of DB Richard Lutz and what3words-CCO Clare Jones unveiled a lettering with the three-word combination "lebendig.webseiten.auflösen" on August 28, 2017. The main entrance of the headquarter can easily be found by using this three words.
Founded in 2012, Talixo is a smart booking platform that brings passengers and vehicles together in a new way. Because taxi and car services are highly organized and available worldwide, and billing can be complicated and complex, the start-up bundles various taxis and limousines for customers. With Talixo, a taxi or limousine can be booked just as easily as hotels or flights. The platform already provides mobility on the last mile in 91 countries and 560 cities. Talixo ensures the same high standards of quality and safety all over the world. Booking and invoicing are carried out using a uniform system.
Founded in 2011, Connected Signals, located in the north-west of the United States, observes and analyzes the red and green phases of traffic lights and, thanks to the intelligent processing of this information, is able to optimally control traffic - whether for individual cars, autonomous fleets or entire cities. The company uses real-time traffic data and artificial intelligence to network vehicles and urban infrastructure. As a result, congestion can be avoided and the risk of an accident can be reduced. The data prepared by ConnectedSignals are already used by automotive manufacturers in the USA to display the duration of the respective traffic light phases in current vehicle models.
The German company CleverShuttle, founded in 2014, is a service that provides efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly door-to-door mobility within urban centers. The first German-licensed ridesharing service brings passengers with similar route wishes and is therefore up to 40% cheaper than a taxi. An algorithm enables intelligent pooling and routing. The cars are powered by an environmentally friendly electric or hybrid drive in Berlin, Leipzig and Munich. Since September 8, 2017 vehicles with climate-friendly hydrogen drive are used in Hamburg for the first time. CleverShuttle is especially attractive for train-travellers who want to travel comfortably and environmentally friendly to the station or from there home.