The Ministry of Railways said in a statement on Friday that Indian Railways is developing a real-time train information system (RTIS), which is coordinated with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Real Time Train Information System (RTIS), developed in collaboration with ISRO, is being built on locomotives for automatic acquisition of train movement timing at the stations, including that of arrival and departure or run-through. They are automatically plotted on the control chart of those trains in the Control Office Application (COA) system.
With a regularity of 30 seconds, the Ministry said that RTIS will give mid-section updates.
"The Train Control has the ability to monitor the location and speed of RTIS-able locomotives /train more closely without any manual intervention," said the manufacturer.
In 21 electric loco sheds, 2,700 locomotives have been installed using RTIS equipment.
In the first phase of Phase II development, 6,000 more locomotives across 50 loco sheds will be covered by the use of ISRO''s Satcom hub.
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"Currently, a GPS feed from around 6,500 Locomotives (RTIS and REMMLOT) is being directly fed into the Control Office Application (COA) which has enabled automatic charting of trains and real time information flow to passengers," the ministry said.
During the beta launch, the newly-launched Chatbot of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) received significant reaction from train passengers as over 1 billion people have used it, according to an IRCTC official.
While conversing with ANI, the official said that the new conversational and convenient method to book railway tickets allows customers to interact with the system via voice, chat, and click-based system. Additionally, the system requires no passwords and works based on the One Time Password (OTP).
The company, which is owned by over 1 billion people, is backed by CoRover, a conversational AI platform.
"We are today taking a huge leap in our constant quest to enhance the user experience, leveraging new age technologies. Using our AI Virtual Assistant, AskDISHA 2.0, powered by CoRover, the Conversational AI platform, it has helped over 1 billion users."
AskDISHA 2.0, the new virtual assistant, offers a variety of benefits: booking tickets, checking PNR status, cancelling tickets, changing boarding station, checking refund status, and responding to requests like Tatkal timings.
The official was also informed that this is a significant move towards improving the passenger experience.
"For the first time, users may book tickets without knowing their IRCTC password, it will be possible only with an OTP. AskDISHA 2.0 has also proved to be a great help, thanks to the addition of voice booking, which will make it even easier for voyagers to plan their trips," said the official.
According to a senior official, at least 25% of clients will choose to follow this trend in the future.
The new avatar of IRCTC''s Chatbot AskDISHA 2.0, aims to help users receive authentic, correct and instant answers to their questions. It will not only save time and enhance the user experience, but also assist them in conducting end-to-end real time transactions, according to the official.