Smart services: the "Siri for train travelers"


Smart services: the "Siri for train travelers"

Digital voice assistant will keep passengers informed online and at stations

Reliable real-time information is an especially important part of the travel experience. Deutsche Bahn is developing a digital assistant to provide this. Like Siri, it can interact with users on their smartphones and update them on their journey. In unexpected situations such as storms and service disruption, the intelligent system helps employees manage the additional need for information in real time.

By 2021, the AI-based system is set to be available via Deutsche Bahn's digital information channels, on the website and in DB Navigator, as well as appearing at the first stations as a digital avatar. Voice assistants are not only a great addition to customer service – they also represent a breakthrough in human-machine interaction. The more AI they contain, the greater the benefits for customers and employees.

Lady robot assists passengers

Berlin's main railroad station welcomes some 300,000 passengers and visitors every day. For many, this is their first time in the German capital, which may require them to ask where the luggage lockers are, from which track the suburban train to Alexanderplatz departs or where the nearest pharmacy is. In June 2019, the service personnel at the station was provided with intelligent assistance in the form of a robot head called SEMMI, which speaks with a female voice and smiles back at the person asking the question

Artificial intelligence in customer service

Artificial intelligence is probably the biggest lever DB has ever had for improving quality, capacity and, ultimately, its rail services – including customer service. Smart systems give passengers additional reliable sources of information. The service relieves the burden on local staff, who have more time to provide customers with thorough travel advice.

With the help of speech and image recognition, and also machine learning technology, DB will develop ever more digital services for passengers. These will increasingly pool knowledge, understand and speak several languages, answer questions that go beyond the actual journey, and be able to learn on their own.