TfL creates AI chatbot to tell you when your train's delayed

TravelBot will answer your transport queries via Facebook Messenger

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled an AI-powered chatbot that will help Londoners navigate their way around the city's public transport system by simply messaging the service via Facebook.

The social media tool, imaginatively dubbed TravelBot, will share real-time travel information with anyone in the city using the TfL transport network, including when a bus is due to arrive, if there are any delays to their planned journey or information about a planned tube route.

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Live tube, TfL Rail, London Overground, DLR and London tram information are all supported, with tube, night tube and rail maps all available.

If a user has any further questions about their journey, they can be referred to a human customer service agent, which TfL says will make it easier to get the answers they need to get around London compared to the traditional route of just using its website to find out relevant route information.

TfL explained as more people use its service to find out information about their journey, the more the TravelBot will be able to provide accurate information, because it relies on machine learning, which enables it to learn as it responds to more and more queries.

"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," Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience, said.

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"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."

Pictures from TravelBot on Facebook Messenger

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