Development of business units

Digitalization and innovation

Passenger information of the future

As part of the renewal of the passenger information facilities, a new central management and publication system (IRIS+) is currently being developed. In combination with the passenger information platform, this system is used to display information for passengers at the station. Following a successful pilot, the decision to launch it throughout Germany was reached in the fourth quarter of 2019. In June 2023, around 750 stations operated with the passenger information platform and IRIS+.

In addition to the transition of stations to IRIS+, innovations in customer information are also being prepared and introduced, for example the publication of substitute transport on the information boards in the station or digital car sequence plans on the platform based on real-time data in regional and long-distance transport. These innovations are expected to be seen in the second half of 2023.

At the same time, in the context of passenger information, preparations are underway for the introduction of the new systems at smaller stations: the next generation of the dynamic visual display (Dynamische Schriftanzeiger; DSA+) at the station will, in future, also be controlled via the new passenger information platform and IRIS+. All 6,800 displays are therefore being replaced across Germany. Around 100 of the new generation of displays have already been installed. Further rollouts are picking up speed.

WiFi at stations

At the end of the first half of 2023, our customers and station visitors were provided with free WiFi services at more than 600 stations. These services are implemented both through DB’s own WiFi installations (available at 152 major hubs, including all central stations of the highest category) and through WiFi networks from cooperation partners. This means that the WiFi services at stations already reach more than half of all passengers each day.

Realignment of online channels

The realignment of online channels via the main channel to was further expanded. The focus was on redesigning station information, accessibility and improving data quality. The first new functions for bicycle mobility and qualified bus replacement services, ran as a pilot for a corridor measure using the example of the Nuremberg — Würzburg line, have been integrated. The portal has been well received by customers and its reach has been significantly expanded.

Smart City at DB Station&Service

With Smart City | DB we are improving everyday life through smart, eco-friendly services and are better integrating stations into municipalities and cities. In 2023, we were able to implement further measures:

  • Click&Collect at stations: By June 2023, around 300 new parcel stations with the Click&Collect service box – known as collection points – had been set up at stations. In coop­eration with Deutsche Post DHL, the number of collection points is to be increased to around 800.
  • Mobility hubs: In the mobility sector, further services were put in place at stations in 2023. For example, the Zuffenhausen and Böblingen stations were fitted with mobility hubs in cooperation with S-Bahn (metro) Stuttgart. The Hamburg-Harburg station was also connected in cooperation with Hamburger Hochbahn (HVV Switch), fitted with a mobility hub and put into operation. The largest mobility hub to date is located at Berlin Südkreuz station. There are plans for a total of 40 additional mobility hubs to be implemented at DB sites in 2023.
  • Coworking service: The coworking service everyworks has expanded its network to eight locations. Cooperation locations were implemented in collaboration with partners in the immediate vicinity of the central stations in Hamburg and Erfurt.
  • Micro-depot: With the micro-depot, we are focusing on a sustainable last mile and climate-friendly forwarding ­of shipments using vehicles such as cargo bikes. In 2023, a micro-depot was opened in Hamburg as part of a Euro­pean funding project. Other locations in Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Dresden are currently being prepared in cooperation with the respective cities and logistics partners.
  • Smart City partnerships: In April 2023, we held a hackathon together with our partner, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, where more than 100 participants developed innovative ideas around the topic of bicycles.
  • Urban analytics: Data-driven analyses of onward travel mobility and climate factors in and around the station are being expanded in 2023 in order to plan and implement products and measures in a targeted manner in and around stations of the future and on the forecourts of these.
  • Quality of stay: Product developments relating to the quality of stay will be further developed in prototype and minimum viable product status in 2023. Our self-­developed outdoor furniture free-space kit will be available in the equipment catalog for station management from the third quarter. The combination of quality of stay and onward travel mobility is being tested at the Hamburg-­Harburg site.

Consolidation of the Station of the Future approach

The integrated development of stations continues to pick up speed in 2023. Redesigned interiors, functional seating, advanced guidance systems and attractive forecourts are some of the aspects that are important for creating stations where people feel comfortable. On the basis of comprehensive findings, quality standards have been developed for each product line and combined to form a Stations of the Future methodology. The structured approach of this methodology and the standards behind it ensure a holistic consideration of our stations. The standards of this methodology are also defined jointly with the Federal Railway Office and the Federal Government. In 2023, modernization according to this methodology was initiated at 35 stations. The aim is to implement 30 of these stations effectively by the end of 2023.

Innovative offers at the station

  • Since June 2023, the cashless 24/7 ServiceStore at Berlin’s Ostbahnhof train station has been offering passengers a wide range of travel and daily needs. With the help of an app, the use of AI and state-of-the-art camera technology, it is possible to shop there quickly and around the clock. With this additional offer in the Ostbahnhof, DB Group is improving the service for around 80,000 passengers and visitors every day.
  • In addition, we are testing various innovative vending machine concepts that create an additional offer for passengers at the stations and can be implemented on micro-surfaces. Since December 2022, the unmanned barista bar the moc has been providing passengers with barista specialities around the clock at Berlin’s Ostbahnhof as part of a pilot project. The robotics-assisted preparation brings new technology to the station.
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