DB Passenger Information and a variety of experts like our affiliate Orange Business worked together on creating a central data platform for the Deutsche Bahn that distributes information consistently across all connected channels. Based on Big Data technologies on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the passenger information in DB’s mobile app is now synchronized with the display board on the platform and any other information channels facing the customers.
The biggest challenge of the project lies in DB’s highly complex, safety-critical environment. Every day in DB’s network around 60 million tracking incidents occur and are processed by the platform. In view of the enormous volume of data, the capacities required for near-real-time data processing and the need for access from different locations, it was clear from the outset that the new application would have to be developed and operated entirely in the cloud. The decision to do this in cooperation with AWS was made very early on, as their infrastructure and services optimally meet the requirements of Deutsche Bahn.
The primary task was to implement the Single Point of Truth, which distributes the information consistently across all information channels and touchpoints. However, the initial situation had a few challenges. For example, the data had to be acquired from numerous different sources, some with very complex interfaces. Protocols and data formats from proprietary solutions were partly obsolete, which made consolidation even more difficult. At the same time, technological consistency also had to be implemented, thanks to an automated CI/CD pipeline (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery), system interruptions or unavailability have now been virtually eliminated.
Another challenge was that the trains are not clearly marked, a GPS signal is only available for a few models. It is also difficult to identify which physical wagon is located at which point. Due to this highly complicated business logic, it was extraordinarily time-consuming to connect the data to the SPOT.