Transport for London (TfL) has launched the next generation in customer service technology with ‘TravelBot’ using Facebook Messenger.
The new social media tool, which is powered by artificial intelligence, can ‘chat’ with customers using Facebook Messenger and instantly tell them when their bus will arrive, provide service updates and Tube maps.
The TravelBot can also link direct to a customer service agent, making customer service queries easier than ever.
Features of the new service includes:
- Bus arrivals: customers can check when their bus is due to arrive by simply sharing their location or providing the bus stop code available at every bus stop
- Bus route status: customers can ask for bus service updates, including information on bus route diversions
- Service updates: customers can ask for the latest service updates for the Tube, TfL Rail, London Overground, DLR and London Trams
- Maps: the TravelBot can provide Tube, Night Tube and rail maps
- Message an agent: the TravelBot can refer customers to a customer service agent.
TfL has been driving innovation through making its data open and accessible beyond TfL. With more than 12,000 developers, over 600 apps are now powered by TfL data.
"Millions of people already use our Journey Planner and social media channels to help them get around London, and we are constantly seeking new ways to make the process even easier,” said Shashi Verma, TfL’s Director of Customer Experience. “This TravelBot will make it simpler for people using Messenger to get the information they need as they move around the city. We think that this initial version will be a major step forward in how we provide travel information to our customers and we look forward to their feedback to help us improve the product over time.”
As people use the service, it will ‘learn’ and become even more precise. TfL will explore the possibility of further features in the future including providing journey planning information and status alerts.
To access the TfL TravelBot, search for ‘TfL TravelBot’ on Facebook.