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Over recent years, the use of AI across many industries has been sparked by advances in machine learning and deep learning. Adopting AI has helped integrate technology into a wide variety of services and products that are positively impacting peoples’ everyday lives.
For the rail industry, AI systems can be a powerful tool in solving many of the critical challenges that the sector faces today, including the necessity to provide better customer service, improve operational and engineering excellence, and to advance safety and security issues relating to physical and digital assets.
During times of wide-spread journey disruption, real-time and AI-led technology in the form of chatbot systems are supporting customer service teams by reducing the volume of questions routed to call centres.
Trainline, Europe’s leading independent rail and coach platform, has recently launched a chatbot system to quickly assist customers with their straightforward queries. Furthermore, their app uses an AI-related ‘Price Prediction’ tool – the first of its kind for UK rail. It analyses billions of historic data points, as well as real-time demand, to reveal when advance ticket prices are likely to change, then encouraging travellers to book early and save money.
Elsewhere, Tokyo’s Railways Technical Research Institute (RTRI) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) are looking into applying AI applications to help combat train delays and optimise train scheduling in their respective railway networks. Over in Spain, AI-powered video analytics is being used to improve operational staff’s efficiency and security management. A project with Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) is combatting fare evasion problems by using an automatic real-time analytics system to detect suspicious behaviour at ticket gates, alerting inspectors to perform checks if required.
AI will continue to evolve and will without doubt play its part in transforming the railway sector. Our Artificial Intelligence In-Depth Focus in this issue provides further insight into the current usage of AI within the rail sector but what is clear is that rail stakeholders must proactively explore further the opportunities of AI to improve services and ensure rail is fit for the future.
Included in this issue:
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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