Can Artificial Intelligence End Train Delays?

The management of transportation is a demanding task, regardless of whether we are talking about air travel or train travel. However, in the case of the latter, artificial intelligence (AI) could provide some assistance. Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German railway company, plans to use AI to achieve smoother operation and reduce train delays.

According to an article on the DB website, the company hopes to achieve “less delay, more efficient maintenance, and better customer service thanks to artificial intelligence.” Currently, DB uses AI to control S-Bahn trains in Stuttgart, Munich, and in the integrated transport system of Rhine-Main, which includes Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Mainz, and Darmstadt.

However, the S-Bahn system operates separately from the rest of the railway network, essentially in a closed circuit. DB has now started to test AI on the route between Elmshorn and the island of Sylt, outside of the S-Bahn system.

“In this section, AI is operating outside the closed S-Bahn system for the first time. It must deal with mixed traffic, i.e., freight, regional, and long-distance. If the test runs are successful, AI will be deployed on the bustling route between Mannheim and Basel,” said Daniela Gerd Tom Markottenova, responsible for digitization at DB.

DB expects to prevent 90,000 minutes of delays in Germany with the help of AI. “With artificial intelligence, we provide our customers with more accuracy and reliability. AI also makes our dispatchers’ work easier,” said Markottenova.

She also emphasized that DB uses its artificial intelligence, which analyzes various options in real-time to solve traffic situations. “Proposals developed in this way enable dispatchers to react quickly and avoid situations where other trains need to slow down or stop due to blockage of the track by another vehicle,” concluded Markottenova.

The question of whether employees will be laid off in connection with the deployment of AI remains unclear. The issue of whether companies will start replacing employees with artificial intelligence systems is still controversial.

According to a recent American investment bank Goldman Sachs report, artificial intelligence could replace up to 300 million jobs worldwide. Artificial intelligence could lead to the creation of new jobs and increased productivity in various industries.

Earlier this month, the news broke that Tokyo no longer expects to find people working in text processing offices in the future. The Metropolitan Government wants to replace them with artificial intelligence (AI). However, the transformation process is set to begin this August, so it is not a matter of the distant future.

“Artificial intelligence can potentially change the way public administration is performed significantly. We believe that with AI, we can achieve better urban management, but we will have to evaluate artificial intelligence’s positive and negative aspects,” said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to use the ChatGPT chatbot for tasks such as document preparation in question-and-answer form. It will also try to get ideas from its employees on how to use artificial intelligence more effectively. In addition, they are prepared to take measures to ensure security and prevent the leakage of confidential information when using AI.

The Lifestyle Asia server did not report whether current employees responsible for text preparation will be laid off or reassigned to other positions.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence is increasingly used in various industries and fields. The transportation sector is no exception, and Deutsche Bahn is one of the companies at the forefront of this technology. While AI’s potential benefits are significant, potential job losses must also be considered. It remains to be seen how this will play out in the future.