Vienna, Austria, March 28, 2019: After the first test operation of a hydrogen bus, several E-bus projects, innovative mobility concepts such as the micro-public transport system and the last-mile pilot, ÖBB-Postbus is also focusing on innovation in the field of technology. Recently, so-called "Smart Glasses," i.e. high-tech glasses with an assisted reality function, have been in regular use at Postbus as part of the bus acceptance test. "By using innovative applications such as Smart Glasses, we have succeeded in moving from an established traditional company to a modern, forward-looking innovation driver on the Austrian bus market," says Silvia Kaupa-Götzl, Managing Director of Postbus.
Months of work with development partner Nagarro
The development was done in collaboration with the digitization and software experts of Nagarro, an international IT company that already has experience with AR solutions. Great importance was given to achieving an immediately noticeable benefit with the project along with all future ideas. Thomas Riedl, Managing Director at Nagarro Austria, is convinced: "Innovation solutions will only prevail if the company achieves measurable success with them. At ÖBB Postbus, this was already proven months ago in a PoC, and it turned out that the solution saves a lot of time."
More time-saving and increased efficiency with the Smart Glass application
At bus inspection, inspectors are responsible for inspecting newly purchased buses and submitting an inspection report. Previously, this was done by using pre-printed lists and protocols in a paper form. In addition to numerous paper forms, extra devices (such as torches, cameras, mobile phones, etc.) were required for the inspection. After inspection, it took hours to create the inspection report and capture all defects manually. The entire process was time-consuming and error-prone. And, this scenario changed thanks to the Smart Glasses—their use leads to great time-saving and increased efficiency. Every year, around 240 to 280 new buses are purchased at Postbus and are checked by the technical inspectors.
Thanks to the use of Smart Glasses, all applications can be controlled by voice command—the hands are free for inspection. Defects can be easily recorded via audio and images, or videos can be attached. The audio recordings are digitally converted from spoken language to written text for the report with "speech to text." After the completion of the technical inspection, a complete acceptance report is automatically generated and exported. Digitalization End to End—the entire inspection is carried out with the intelligent Smart Glass application. "The use of Smart Glasses can save an incredible number of work steps during bus acceptance, and – at the same time – the entire process is less error-prone. But this is just the beginning because there is enormous potential in the use of glasses," says Ewald Koller, Head of Technology at Postbus. In the future, the use of Smart Glasses will be expanded, both at Postbus and in the ÖBB Group.
Possible expansion scenarios can be used for various activities such as training, maintenance, and repair work. The integration of artificial intelligence into the Connected Worker scenarios is also possible
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Some of our clients include Lufthansa, Estēe Lauder, ASSA ABLOY, Ericsson, DHL, Mitsubishi, BMW, the City of New York, T-Systems, SAP, and Infor. Working with these clients, we continually push the boundaries of what is possible to do through technology, and in what time frame.
Postbus: Mobility partners in rural areas
Every year, the Postbus with its 2,300 buses takes about 208 million passengers to their destination and, it also travels wherever there is no other public transport. The buses travel daily to around 1,800 communities, providing public connections in rural areas. The Postbus is, therefore, an important pillar when it comes to services of general interest in rural areas. Also, it has been a trustworthy partner of municipalities for many years.
ÖBB: Austria's largest mobility service provider
As a full-service mobility provider, the ÖBB Group annually transports 459 million passengers and 115 million tons of goods to their destinations in an environment-friendly manner. Rail passengers travel in a particularly climate-friendly manner. This is because 100 percent of the electricity used by the railways comes from renewable energy sources. In 2017, ÖBB was one of the most punctual railways in Europe with around 96 percent punctuality rate. Group-wide, 41,107 railway and bus employees (an additional 1,900 apprentices) ensure that around 1.3 million passengers arrive safely at their destinations every day. The Group's strategic lead company is ÖBB-Holding AG.