2017 Integrated Report – Departure into a new era

New product and service concepts

Convenient check-in replaces ticket controls

In the year under review, we tested our comfort check-in on selected trains. This digital offer eliminates the need for ticket controls since the customer checks herself/himself in. The function is integrated exclusively in the DB Navigator app and can be used for this test for passengers with selected cell phone or online tickets with a seat reservation. Once the passengers have taken their seats, they simply check in by clicking on the app. This information is then displayed to the train crew on their ticket control devices. This replaces ticket control. Following last year’s successful test, comfort check-in will be introduced nationwide in 2018.

New digital services in local transport

DB Regional, together with the ordering organizations in local transport, plans to provide customers with a digital travel experience. Part of this plan includes the installation of reliable WiFi in trains. In addition, an information portal has been developed that offers news, current trip information and tourist information.

After numerous pilot projects, the state of Saxony-Anhalt has now commissioned the first complete local transport network, the Elbe-Saale railway, to be fully equipped with WiFi. In October 2017, the conversion of the Stuttgart S-Bahn (metro) began. The complete conversion of the fleet with a total of 158 vehicles is to be completed within 24 months. Four S-Bahn (metro) stations in Hamburg are already equipped with WiFi, and all other stations will follow by the end of 2018. DB Regional is in talks with other public transport authorities.

Cooperation in the development of self-driving trucks

DB Schenker and MAN are working together to develop interlinked truck platoons and are testing them in real operation. The plan is to test DB Schenker truck platoons in real road traffic for several months. In the practical test phase beginning in the spring of 2018, DB Schenker and MAN platoons will be brought into use on the “digital highway test field” on the A9 between the DB Schenker branch offices in Munich and Nuremberg. DB Schenker, MAN and Fresenius University are receiving Federal Government funding of around € 2 million for their joint development of networked truck platoons. The scientifically supported platooning project is to be funded for 20 months, from the start of the project in June 2017 up to and includ­­ing January 2019. The project is being monitored nationally and internationally, as it is the first platooning test in operation worldwide.

In a new Swedish research project, DB Schenker will test the platooning of trucks from different manufacturers to­­gether with Scania and Volvo. This is intended to reduce CO₂ emissions and improve the efficiency of freight transport. As part of the Sweden4Platooning project, DB Schen­­ker is working with Scania, Volvo, various research institutes and the Swedish transport authority.

Idea train presented by DB Regional

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 re­gion­­­-al 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. The 22 modules of this 1: 1 model of a double-deck car was de­­vel­­oped by the DB Innovation Laboratory d.lab, Südostbayern­­bahn, the CC Product Innovation and external design and industrial partners.

The future of local transport

New dining benches with tables make working easier. Integrated space for tablets and luggage racks under the benches leave enough free space. There is also a large screen area for sports or news broadcasts. For families with children there is a module with a climbing gym and a slide. In special workspaces, passengers can write e-mails or make phone calls in individual cabins.

Railmate for quick customer feedback

Railmate is a direct customer feedback system that we have already successfully implemented at DB Long-Distance. The pilot for DB Regional has been successfully started on the networks of the Schwarzwaldbahn and the Munich-Nuremberg-Express. Passengers can use QR codes during their journey to give their opinions and describe their experiences on their trip. The feedback is collected anonymously.

Since October 2017, cell phone ticket users have also been able to use a new feedback function in DB Navigator – during and after the journey.

New IT system for regional transport

In a pilot project with the Berlin-Brandenburg transport association and DB Re­­gional, passengers can ex­p­erience the new IT sys­tem Colibri in two trains. Colibri makes it possible to record the num­ber of passengers and bicycles in the double-­deck cars in real time. Pas­sen­gers can use the Digital in Regional (Digital im Regio) app or check monitors in the vehicles to get information on available seats. Colibri was developed by DB Vehi­­cle Maintenance. The IT system is intended to provide in­­formation on de­fects and damage while the train is underway, so that the trains can return to the rails faster from work­­­shops.

Digital in Regional

“This train can do more.” This is the motto of the recently initiated pilot project for testing innovations “Digital in Regional,” a joint effort of DB Regional Northeast, DB Vehicle Maintenance, the Berlin-Branden-burg transport association and the German Federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg. In two trains on the regional express lines RE3 (Stralsund – Berlin – Elsterwerda) and RE5 (Rostock/Stralsund – Berlin – Wünsdorf/Waldstadt) passengers can experience and evaluate components of the IT system Colibri. Colibri makes it possible to record the number of passengers and bicycles in the double-deck cars in real time. This means that the Digital in Regional app or monitors in the vehicles can be checked for information on available seats and spaces for bikes.