2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway

Customer and quality

New product and service concepts

New partnership for standardized log-in solution

DB Group is a new shareholder of verimi. The cross-industry identity and data platform combines a convenient, central log-in (single sign-on), top security and privacy standards under European law and the ability for users to determine how their own personal data is used. DB Group is currently establishing the IT requirements for a standardized log-in to DB services. The solution is scheduled for integration in 2019.

New digital services in local transport

DB Regional is working with numerous contracting organizations to progressively install WiFi technology on board trains. In addition, an information portal has been developed that offers news, entertainment, current trip information and tourist information. In addition to numerous pilot projects, such as in S-Bahn (metro) Munich, we have already equipped a few local transport networks with WiFi; these are, among others, Elbe-Saale-Bahn, Expresskreuz Bremen, Main-Neckar-Ried-Express, RE-Netz Süd­west (SÜWEX), S-Bahn (metro) systems in Rhine-Main, Stuttgart and central Germany, and various networks in Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg. We are in negotiations with additional public transport authorities. Currently, Hamburg’s S-Bahn (metro) stations are equipped with WiFi.

Further development of the Idea Train

DB Regional has developed a new and unique travel ex­­perience in regional transport with the Idea Train, which combines new product and service concepts for regional transport with visionary technological applications. In order to become the industry’s innovation leader, DB Regional wants to help shape the development of vehicle interiors itself.

During the year under review new components were installed or redesigned. Unique themed worlds are set to become a reality. The Free State of Bavaria and DB Group signed a corresponding declaration at Innotrans 2018 in Berlin. With the redesign of a double-deck car for Südostbayernbahn, we will create nine themed worlds by 2020.

DB Group has decided to work with Siemens Mobility on the Idea Train. The train will be opened as a development environment for partners from the vehicle industry to test components and prototypes. Siemens Mobility is the first system manufacturer to join the cooperative effort. The aim is to persuade more regional transport contracting organizations and public transport authorities to think about innovative, customer-oriented ideas when submitting future tenders.

ioki expands its offers

With ioki, we are bringing on-demand mobility and autonomous driving into public transport. We have ex­­panded our offer:

  • ioki is working with public transport provider BVG on autonomous driving projects. As part of a pilot project, a self-driving minibus no. 41 made journeys around the EUREF Campus in Berlin between April and December 2018. The test operation tested autonomous driving linked with an on-demand service for the first time using a new developed app. The plan for 2019 is to ex­­tend the test op­­eration to public roads.

ioki Hamburg – An on-­­demand shuttle service

In the Hamburg districts of Lurup and Osdorf, transport company Ham­­burg-Holstein GmbH (VHH) operates in cooperation with ioki an on-­demand bus service – ioki Hamburg. Since July 2018, electrically powered vehicles made by British manufacturer LEVC have been providing on-demand journeys. The service can be booked around the clock using the ioki Hamburg app. The ioki Hamburg Shuttle is licensed as a scheduled bus service. The vehicles each have six seats and boast easy wheelchair and baby stroller access. Further ioki stops have been set up at distances of no more than 200 m apart to optimize area coverage.

  • The first driver-based on-demand service followed in May 2018 as part of the local pub-lic transport with integration into the existing fares in the town of Wittlich in Rhineland-­Palatinate. The Wittlich Shuttle supplements existing transport infrastructures and brings customers to their destination on flexible and varying routes de­­pend­­ing on the travel destination. The service can be conveniently booked using an app. Holders of season tickets or sin­gle tickets pay a convenience surcharge of € 1.90 for the new service.
  • As part of DB Group’s Smart City Partnership with the City of Hamburg, ioki has been operating the driver-based on-demand shuttle service ioki Hamburg no. 142 since July 2018, which is connected to Hamburg’s public passenger transport services.
  • In the first year, 20,000 passengers had already traveled with the autonomous minibus no. 41 in Bad Birnbach.

Cooperation work to develop self-driving trucks

DB Schenker, in cooperation with MAN and Fresenius University, is carrying out a platooning project which is funded by the BMVI. In the year under review, preparatory activities were also carried out for piloting autonomous truck runs on terminal premises. MAN provided DB Schenker with the test vehicles for the truck platooning pro­j­­ect in February 2018. Regular test runs of the networked trucks began in June 2018 on the 145-km section of road between Munich and Nuremberg. The trucks were tested without loads until early August 2018. Since September 2018, the platoons have been on the move, carrying out up to three runs per day, doing every­day logistics work, carrying general cargo such as ma­­chine parts, beverages and paper.


Platooning is a road traffic vehicle sys­­tem whereby at least two trucks drive one behind the other on the highway in close proximity using technical driving assistance and control systems. All the vehi­cles driv­­ing in the platoon are connected to each other by an electronic drawbar via car-to-car communication. The lead vehicle determines the speed and direction. In the process, the electronic coupling of the vehicles in the platoon ensures road safety. A cru­cial goal of platooning is to save fuel for the entire platoon by driv­ing in the slipstream of the lead vehicle.

T-Pod becomes the first autonomous electric truck

In November 2018, DB Schenker and Einride launched the first commercially used, fully electric, autonomous truck on DB Schenker property in Jönköping, Sweden – the T-Pod. The T-Pod by Einride has dispensed with the driver’s cab. Instead, it is monitored remotely and can be controlled even from distances of several hundred kilometers away. Since it has no driver’s cab, there was the scope for a much more efficient design. At the same time it offers higher load capacity, greater flexibility, lower production and operating costs, as well as optimized energy consumption. The T-Pod operates entirely on batteries.

Tests are underway on an automated vehicle used for swap body transports

DB Schenker is the first logistics provider worldwide to test the use of an automated “Wiesel” (weasel) at its Nuremberg branch office. This vehicle, produced by KAMAG, is designed for transporting swap bodies on logistics yards and can move these autonomously. Swap bodies are containers mounted on trucks that can be set down on fold-out legs for loading and unloading.

Utilizing blockchain technology

Blockchain is considered to be one of the most disruptive technologies ever. DB Group is testing various applications – from logistics supply chains and the clearing of internal services via smart contracts, as well as the distribution of proceeds in regional transport, to digital identity – that of trains but also of passengers. The DB Systel blockchain team pushes the blockchain and distributed ledger technology implementation forward.