Development of business units

Digitalization and innovation 15 Smart services To the Strong Rail strategy

Passenger Information of the Future

As part of the renewal of the passenger information systems, a new central management and publication system (IRIS+) is currently being developed. In combination with the passen­ger information (Reisendeninformations; RI) platform, it will be used to provide passengers with information at the station. Following a successful pilot, the decision to launch it throughout Germany was reached in the fourth quarter of 2019. A comprehensive rollout went ahead in 2020. By the end of 2020, 295 stations had already been set up with the RI platform and IRIS+.

In most of the converted stations, text-to-speech technology is already in use for auditory passenger information. The new voice for the station was introduced in parallel in 2020. At these stations, all standard and individual announcements are made with the voice of an advertising voice-over and dubbing artist.

Many other functions were also implemented in the RI platform and IRIS+ in 2020. Among those worth highlight­­-ing is the product development of a multimodal display that shows the local scheduled connecting services.

The software development for the next generation of dynamic visual display (Dynamische Schriftanzeiger; DSAplus), the successor to the existing dynamic visual display, is moving forward. The renewal of the display media port­folio is also being accelerated. The successful field test of the ZIMwide model and the ongoing field test of ZIM200 mean that new, modern and flexible displays for stations will become available in 2021.

Smart City at DB Station & Service

With Smart City, we aim to improve the daily lives of city resi­dents, visitors to stations and passengers with intelligent and environmentally friendly offers.

  • In 2020, various items of street furniture and event concepts were tested at Berlin-Charlottenburg S-Bahn (metro) station and Cologne-Mülheim station. The aim is to design stations in a way that is more attractive to passengers and visitors while also incorporating the surroundings.
  • In late August 2020, Smart City opened its first coworking space at Berlin central station under the everyworks brand. Workstations can be booked using the everyworks app. The long-term aim is to open other central and mobile workplace locations directly at stations.
  • At the beginning of 2020 the piloting of intelligent, cross-vendor locker systems in the Hamburg city area, called Hamburg Box, started. It is a joint project with ParcelLock and the Hamburger Hochbahn, and enables time-saving and convenient receipt of goods and products directly at the station.
  • In September 2020, we extended the Smart City Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Hamburg by another five years. The shared objective is to make a contribution to sustainable and viable mobility and logis­­tics and to strengthen the city of Hamburg as a place worth living and an environmentally friendly location.
  • We implemented a number of projects with the city of Ham­­burg at Hamburg-Dammtor station. As well as Hamburg Box, these include redesigned showcases and
    an audiovisual art installation that provides a unique ambience.

New services at future stations

In 2020, we tested many new products and services together with our customers at a total of 16 future stations. We aimed to use a mix of measures to find out how we could improve quality of stay and comfort for customers. One of the areas of focus was the design of concourse buildings and forecourts as well as new, modern seating and waiting areas. Local motifs provided greater potential for residents to identify with the station. Passengers had the opportunity to test new re­tail options such as food trucks, sustainable snack machines and pop-up stores. We also developed innovative guidance systems to help visitors orient themselves better. New ideas have also been tested for onward travel, including e-scooter parking spaces, automatic bicycle parking towers and charg­ing points for e-bikes.

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