New digitalization projects
Further expansion of digital interlockings
In Warnemünde, Germany’s second digital Interlockings No. 145 was put into service at the end of October 2019. In the Free State of Bavaria, a digital interlockings will be built for the first time on a main line in the German rail network by 2021. The new interlocking is an important part of digitalizing the Scandinavian ― Mediterranean rail corridor, which is to be completely upgraded with new technology in the next few years.
App-based train-path booking system
Starting in the year under review, TOCs have been able to book train-paths at the click of a button, just like online shopping, using the Click&Ride app. Thanks to automatic scheduling, it only takes a maximum of three minutes from request to offer, instead of several hours as before. This means lower costs for all involved and better utilization of rail network capacity. Since December 2019, Click&Ride has also been used in full for the first time in rail freight transport.
Testing the use of robotics in customer service
New developments, such as in the area of robotics, help us to improve our service even more. To achieve this, we tested the specially designed, talking robotic head SEMMI in the travel center at Berlin’s main station. The robotic head has previously been used at Frankfurt Airport and at Tokyo Station (Japan).
SEMMI offers innovative voice-controlled customer engagement, which responds with a combination of speech and human-like facial expressions. What makes the robotic head unique is that it behaves in a natural and human-like manner. Everything that SEMMI “knows” has been taught by us, and SEMMI is continuously updated with the latest cutting-edge AI technologies.
Equipping more trains with ETCS
ETCS helps optimize the operation of rail systems and improves interoperability across borders. ICEs connecting Berlin and Munich already have this new technology on board, while a further 19 ICE 1s and 17 ICE 3s will be equipped with the technology by 2022. The latter should run on the new construction line Wendlingen ― Ulm, as well as in Belgium and between Paris and Strasbourg.
3D printing process further expanded
3D Printing No. 149 offers many advantages, ranging from significantly reduced material use and reduced transport distances to downscaled warehousing and reduced downtime for our trains in the workshop. In addition, 3D printing makes it possible to create replacement parts – which are usually difficult to procure, with delivery times of up to 24 months – at just the press of a button.
Trial launch of an innovative sound system
As part of DB Group’s start-up funding program, new station announcement technology was developed with the best sound quality. The trial for the innovative sound system from Holoplot GmbH launched in January 2019. Customers on the underground S-Bahn (metro) platform in Frankfurt am Main central station only receive the information that is relevant to them and can benefit from clearly understandable announcements. This ensures easier guidance and overall quieter background noise.