Uber is in talks with Indian Railways on a number of proposals, aimed at offering taxi services to get passengers to the station and drop them home, according to the Economic Times. Uber has proposed setting up kiosks outside railway stations, assisting passengers with booking rides to their home, the report adds. Uber has also spoken with the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, a subsidiary of Indian Railways for adding the ability to schedule taxi ride directly from IRCTC website and app. IRCTC's website is among the most visited websites in India. Uber has reportedly also pitched the idea of offering UberPOOL facility to passengers who are going in the same direction, according to Business-Standard.
In order to serve hygienic food with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to railway passengers, the catering services of Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways are all set to undergo a major'technological' revolution. Interestingly, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which is the catering arm of the national transporter, will use AI vision detection, according to a Pioneer report. High definition cameras, connected to huge monitors, have been installed at all the 16 base kitchens at the IRCTC headquarters across the National Capital, the report said. With this system, any rodent or cockroach in any of the base kitchens can be tracked and with the help of AI, the matter will reach various stakeholders right till the IRCTC Managing Director in real time. Recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal emphasized on the use of AI and innovations in order to transform the face of the national transporter.
As the Indian government plans modernisation of railways, the government's plans for the future of technology interactions within railways include internet of things (IoT), big data and artificial intelligence. Speaking at an industry summit in Bhubaneswar, RailTel chairman and managing director Puneet Chawla said the Indian Railways will rely heavily on technology as it focusses on the satisfaction of employees and passengers as well as in train operations to ensure safety, punctuality and line capacity. Chawla said that RailTel was the fifth-largest telecom infrastructure provider in the country and listed examples such as "video walls, WiFi, CCTVs, e-office and computer-based signalling used in railway operations". He said the future of technological engagement with railways could include "IoT platforms, big data and artificial intelligence". The modernisation of Indian railways was part of BJP's 2019 manifesto for Lok Sabha elections.
In its ongoing effort to ensure quality food reaches passengers travelling on trains, the Indian Railways has equipped 16 of its base kitchens with high definition CCTVs to track anomalies, in real-time, during the cooking and packaging of meals. The camera feed is routed to an Artificial Intelligence module set up at IRCTC's headquarters in New Delhi. A member of the Railways Board visited IRCTC's first surveillance-oriented intelligence kitchen control room in New Delhi on Tuesday morning. M Jamshed, member (traffic), was given a tour of the central control, from where authorities can monitor kitchens. The move comes following a Comptroller and Auditor General audit report last July, which termed food served in railways "unsuitable" for human consumption.
Most major railway stations in India will use facial recognition to fight crime by the end of 2020, a senior official said, in a move that digital rights campaigners on Tuesday warned could breach people's privacy in the absence of stringent laws. The system is being trialled in the tech hub of Bengaluru where about half a million faces are scanned every day and - using artificial intelligence (AI) - matched against faces stored in a police database of criminals. "The railways will become like a virtual fortress," a senior railways official told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Without a physical, brick and mortar boundary wall, we will be able to make the whole system more secure," said the official who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. Stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas to sandy southern beaches, India's railway network is one of the biggest in the world, carrying about 23 million people - or the population of Taiwan - every day.