Exploring Voice Activated Assistants for the Melbourne Transport Application

Melbourne Transport Community Project provides trains and tram departures to the end-user over new channels. This is a non-profit initiative led by Version 1.

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Client Profile
Melbourne Transport
Established:
1969
Client Since:
2018
Employees:
3500
Industry:
Public Transport
The challenges people have when travelling are numerous. When commuters want to check the timetable, the only channels available to the general public are the traditional web, mobile application and call centre. These modes of accessing available information don’t suit everyone. We wanted to provide a voice-activated service on digital personal assistants so that information was available which could be accessed by everyone.
- Fabio Douek, Head of Cloud Delivery, Version 1
woman in facemask on train
train and building

Work Delivered

POC's Delivered

Version 1 developed the microservices which run on the AWS platform. On top of that, three different solutions were used to provide the integration with the devices for the NLU (Natural Language Understanding): Amazon Alexa, Amazon Lex and API.AI. These support Alexa enabled devices, such as Amazon Echo and Echo Show, Google Home, Facebook, Slack, Skype and Telegram. Version 1 also delivered a Proof of Concept (POC) for native Mobile Apps which allows the user to interact with Melbourne Transport either by text message or voice. Another POC was delivered, integrating Amazon Lex with Amazon Connect, which allows users to call a contact centre (by either using a mobile phone or landline) and interact using the phone keypad or voice.

People who are home with their hands full, perhaps looking after children, or people with disabilities find voice-activated personal assistants, such as Alexa and Google Home to be a good alternative. Visitors to Melbourne who may not want to download the mobile app find chatbots very user friendly. Most people have Facebook on their phone these days and other messenger applications can be used such as Viber, Telegram, Skype, Slack and Twitter. The reason we support all those different messenger applications is because we believe that the end-users know which one is best for them. What we see is that, in some cases, a user uses different channels depending on where they are. For example, using an Alexa Device from home, Facebook messenger from their mobile phones when they are on the go, and Slack when they are just about to leave the office.
- Fabio Douek, Head of Cloud Delivery, Version 1
woman pulling suitecase

Real Differences, Delivered.

  • Gave end users more flexibility and freedom on how they want to consume public transport departure information
  • Created a platform where Version 1 could experiment with the emerging technologies and innovate rapidly
  • Delivered POC’s integrating various AWS Services