Immersive technologies for an intuitive training and travel experience

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Immersive technology

Virtual and augmented reality for Deutsche Bahn

Article: Immersive technologies for an intuitive training and travel experience

We use immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality to offer Deutsche Bahn a wide range of use cases that benefit both passengers and employees.

Using virtual reality in the form of digital trains allows us to teach complex processes from the comfort of the office in a realistic way. This not only minimises potential risks but can also boost learning. For instance, our employees can learn how to couple a train, operate a wheelchair lift or control a signal box in virtual space. This makes training for heavy equipment and complex operations safer and cheaper. The EVE (Engaging Virtual Education) solution, which was developed specifically for the rail industry, can be used to develop interactive three-dimensional learning simulations of railway stations, trains and working environments.

"Using augmented and virtual reality at Deutsche Bahn has the potential to massively simplify day-to-day operations for our workforce. VR is already enabling better, more detailed training without the need for physical assets and, thanks to AR, employees will have the training content at their fingertips in the form of smart instruction manuals."

Usman Ghias, Product Owner Immersive Technologies, DB Systel GmbH

Profile picture Usman Ghias

How Deutsche Bahn can benefit from virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional representation of real or imaginary environments in which we can move and interact. The experience of immersion that gives immersive technology its name is created using tools such as VR glasses and controls that capture the user's movement, line of vision and interaction.

Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, works by enhancing the real environment. It also requires a sensor-equipped tool such as glasses or a smartphone. The special thing about augmented reality is that the virtual elements visually blend seamlessly into the real environment. Overlays are used to provide directions or display additional information about objects.

Augmented reality: digital enhancement of the physical world

Augmented reality allows digital content to be superimposed directly onto the user's smartphone screen or field of vision using AR glasses. Content is presented in an intuitive way that reduces the cognitive burden of information processing. We can also display specific information depending on the context and location – exactly where it is needed. Augmented reality can help our passengers navigate platforms and stations more easily. For Deutsche Bahn employees, the benefits include access to step-by-step instructions or remote support for maintenance activities.

Presenting information intuitively through augmented reality

Workflow assistance

Extra information such as step-by-step instructions can be displayed on components and objects to help with maintenance or training. The insertion of relevant information in the form of texts, videos and holograms actively supports the maintenance process and makes it more intuitive.

Remote assistance

Employees can use AR glasses to access remote support and share their own field of vision with remote experts while carrying out their work in peace. Virtual markers on the real object and video and audio transmission for remote collaboration provide assistance in challenging situations.        

Guidance for employees

Employees can be directed to specific locations in a vehicle, for example, using AR glasses or a smartphone. There is no need to search for information or transfer information from 2D plans to the real environment. Relevant information can be made visible directly where it is needed.

Guidance for passengers on platforms and in stations

Information overlays on passengers' smartphone screens can point them in the right direction and help them find the right carriage or train in the real station environment. In this way, passengers can find their way around stations and platforms more easily and more intuitively.

Are you interested in virtual support for employee training or would you like advice on VR and AR? Then get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.