Embracing AI in the transport industry 

September, 2023 - Shoosmiths LLP

The evolution of technology is bringing rapid change to the world of work and employers who fail to embrace new tech will fall behind those that do. This is as true of the transport industry as any other. Employers that are leveraging technology are able to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and deliver a superior customer experience.

Take, for example, Flixbus who are implementing systems to support their workforce communication, increase efficiency and provide real-time access to important data and information to enable quick decisions to be made. For instance, they have adopted AI to assess customer feedback, which helps the company identify areas that require improvement. Electrification, such as utilising hydrogen power, biogas concepts, and electric buses, has had a significant impact on Flixbus’s operation by reducing the cost of operations.

Alongside these technologies, Flixbus’ operation is powered by an all-in-one on board crew app, serving as the central hub of information for their employees cross-services. Its primary purpose is to improve the overall experience of the passengers to make the task of the drivers more efficient. It uses AI to allow the systems to automatically provide drivers with GPS navigation, showing them the most efficient route to their destination. The app is also used to notify passengers of any delays, inform passengers of their expected arrival time with greater accuracy than before, and as a result increase customer satisfaction and relieve drivers of some of the burden of managing travelers on their bus.

However, implementing these technologies alone is not enough, it is important that the workforce are brought along on the journey and understand how to get the best from the technology on offer. To this end, Flixbus has implemented systems to help upskill drivers and other staff to ensure that all employees are up to date with technological advances, such as the above-mentioned board crew app. Managers are trained to then be able to teach their own staff, a learning management system was introduced where the drivers could take lessons on the different aspects of the Driver app, and a Q&A session was hosted as webinars for drivers to ask questions. As a result, the workforce was prepared to use the new features of the app.

The example of Flixbus shows just what is possible for employers both within and beyond the transport sector and how new technologies can help companies to innovate, become more effective, and provide a superior customer experience. But this can’t be at the expense of investment in people at the same time – the technology is only as good as the people who use it.




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