12. February 2024

Digitalization as a driving force in the background

Benefits for internal processes

Whether apps for booking tickets or software for controlling passenger information services: Digital solutions from transport companies already have a lot to offer customers. But digitalization can do more. Smart solutions can also make internal processes easier. There are now a number of good examples of this.

There is no shortage of space in DB Fernverkehr's ICE maintenance workshop in Cologne. The hall in the Nippes district is around 500 meters long. This can mean a long walk for fitters if they have to fetch a special component from the warehouse to repair damage. In such cases, the maintenance work takes a correspondingly long time.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has developed an app to solve this problem: The fitters take a photo of the component to be replaced using a tablet and an AI reads the image. The system then reports to the merchandise management system which component is needed at the fitter's workplace - and it is brought to him. This solution is also in use at the S-Bahn plant in Frankfurt.

With the help of the app, travel times have been reduced by three quarters in some cases, says Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, the member of the DB Management Board responsible for digitalization and technology. The solution has literally "gone viral from the bottom up" in the DB plants.

Platforms that facilitate the scheduling of vehicles, for example, have also become very popular in the transport industry. The Karlsruhe-based company Init Innovation in Traffic Systems, exhibitor at IT-TRANS 2024, , for example, offers these and other solutions. Whether at Ingolstädter Verkehrsgesellschaft (INVG) or Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH, INIT software is now used throughout Germany - and very often abroad. The companies use the solutions from Karlsruhe to digitally create timetables and fare systems, plan vehicle routes or record passenger flows.

The increasing switch to electric buses in particular has created a whole new playing field for digital solutions: With the appropriate software, dispatchers can keep an eye on the charging status and current range of individual vehicles. The Canadian Trapeze Group is one of the providers of such solutions. With its LIO-Volta system, not only can the charging status of each vehicle be monitored in real time, but the occupancy of charging stations can also be managed.

The Berlin-based start-up Menlo79 focuses entirely on staff scheduling with its Wilson solution, which was developed specifically for the rail sector. Among other things, the platform can be used to optimize the productivity of train drivers, shunters and wagon inspectors. One special feature is that communication does not only take place in one direction - i.e. from the dispatcher to the employee. Instead, train drivers & co. can also install the software themselves via an app on their cell phone and thus specify their preferences for working times and areas of operation. A share function enables communication across several companies, so that personnel service providers can also be connected to the platform. "The aim is to create a win-win situation for everyone involved. Our solution not only increases productivity, but also satisfaction within the company," says Fabian Stöffler, CEO and founder of Menlo79.

Recognizable added value is the best prerequisite for the success of a digital solution within a company. DB board member Daniela Gerd tom Markotten agrees: Her company relies on a mixture of top-down and bottom-up concepts when developing digital solutions. To this end, employees are regularly asked to make concrete suggestions for helpful digital solutions. The ideas are then reviewed in pitches. This is also how the image recognition app for the DB plants came about. At the same time, the mixture of top-down and bottom-up methods promotes the development of a corporate culture that is open to new digital solutions and where such solutions are welcomed with curiosity.


Do you need an expressive interview, current press photos or a short statement? Press officer Katrin Wagner will be happy to help you.

Press Officer

Katrin Wagner

Kontakt speichern