Group programs continued
Our Group programs are devoted to subjects that address relevant trends and drive the development of DB Group. As part of the further development of our strategy, we will continue to focus our 2019 program portfolio and address the main issues of the integrated rail system. We are streamlining our committees and directing attention towards the Agenda for a Better Railway, again with the objective of increasing the functionality of the integrated rail system and thereby guaranteeing the best possible customer experience.
Digital Rail for Germany
The aim of the Digital Rail for Germany no. 145 project is to significantly increase the reliability – and in particular the punctuality – of rail transport. Our vision is digitalized rail transport with an integrated system of capacity management and operational implementation. Traffic control based on artificial intelligence techniques for coordinating train operations, real-time determination of train positions, high-performance data exchange between train and infrastructure, and sensor-based detection of obstacles lay a firm foundation for making this vision a reality. The technologies required for the implementation of the target image were identified in the year under review and their degree of maturity was assessed. Work has begun to develop functional and technical specifications. In order to ensure that Europe-wide standards are created, we work closely with other railways. The feasibility studies for pilot projects (and, in particular, Hamburg S-Bahn (metro)) emphasize the advantages of technological change on the rail. A cooperative agreement between the City of Hamburg, Siemens and DB Group has been signed for the Digital S-Bahn (metro) Hamburg pilot project. A system architecture has already been developed in collaboration with industrial partner Siemens and the specification phase has begun. The start of the accelerated rollout of ETCS in combination with the digital interlocking was introduced at InnoTrans in the year under review. Investment projects on this scale can only be implemented by working with partners from industry and commerce, customers and owners. In 2019, we will therefore be aiming to develop and implement a suitable partnering concept, as well as further expanding our organization.
In the ioki project our focus is on developing modern, flexible and digital mobility solutions. ioki is a full-service provider for types of road-based digital mobility that make traffic more sustainable and efficient. These are sustainable, economically viable and socially equitable solutions that safeguard our mobility in the long term whilst protecting the environment and ultimately improving quality of life. ioki is developing an open environment for on-demand mobility that is closely integrated into local public transport and permits seamless mobility. ioki offers all system modules such as platform and app, driver-based and autonomous vehicle concepts or mobility analytics from a single source, allowing third parties, cities or local public transport authorities to operate on-demand public transport mobility offerings under their own name. The company is piloting on-demand mobility, autonomous driving and mobility analytics to make them commercially viable for customers and partners.
Mobility platforms are increasingly gaining ground against existing providers with customer-centric, digital offerings. The analog customer interfaces that have been in use up to now will become less important than digital ones in the future. In response to these changes, we are continuing to pursue the goal of adjusting and developing our digitalization activities at the customer interface in passenger transport in order to make them fit for the future. Within the Mobimeo project, we have forged ahead with the creation of a team of industry and digital experts. In the year under review, our focus was on product development, the expansion of the platform and the first minimum viable product (MVP) launches. Testing has begun on the first multimodality and live navigation (Companion) products. This included a test involving the public transport association Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) in September 2018, in which volunteers using the app tested an initial range of Companion products for two weeks with the aim of validating the customer benefits, user experience and the technical functionality of product features. The implementation of live navigation in the BVG travel info app is planned for the second quarter of 2019. A public beta version was launched in Stuttgart in November 2018 and the market launch of new apps for the S-Bahn (metro) Berlin and Stuttgart is planned for the second quarter of 2019.
Our aim is to build upon existing infrastructures to offer solutions for the intelligent and environmentally friendly networking of mobility and logistics, with the railway station forming the basis for our product portfolio. A Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Hamburg places the focus on Harburg and Dammtor stations. We are responding to the growing challenges in the world of work by integrating coworking spaces into railway stations. Railway stations offer an idea platform for creating a stationary link to new mobility solutions. In cooperation with ioki feeder stations in the service area, for example Hamburg Elbgaustraße station, will become on-demand service no. 142 stops. In the year under review, a successful e-scooter pilot was conducted amongst DB employees in Frankfurt am Main to test the service as a supplementary mobility module. We are also working on setting up a data platform to identify locations for the services and to optimize operations in the long term.
Our aim with the Group program TecEX (Technical Excellence) is to make it possible to implement technology projects more quickly. TecEX functions as a competence platform for developments across multiple business units, from the scaling of joint solutions across business units to the use of bundling to get around resource bottlenecks. TecEX is pursuing three approaches with 13 projects for the further development of railway production and the implementation of the technology strategy:
- The development and implementation of ideas to achieve short- and medium-term improvements in returns and quality.
- Strategic projects and rollout preparation to improve quality and productivity in the medium to long term.
- Projects to head off risks to rail operations by the design and development of pilots. In the year under review, for example, the existing FASSI system was integrated into dynamic “green functions” of train control no. 118 in the DB Regional Networked Driving Assistance System project to generate recommendations for energy-saving driving based upon the current operating situation. In the CBM Infrastructure (condition-based maintenance) project, 3,400 switch heaters no. 91were connected to the central DIANA diagnostics platform.