Travel information for New South Wales comes to Amazon’s Alexa
Transport for New South Wales (NSW) continues to improve its technology offering with new Amazon Alexa integration…
Owners of Amazon Echo devices in New South Wales can now find out what their regular commute will be like through Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service.
Integration with Transport for NSW’s Real-time Intelligent Transport Assistant (RITA) for Alexa, which provides real-time train, ferry and light rail travel information, supplies customers with easy, hands-free access to network updates and disruptions on their daily Sydney Trains, Sydney Ferries and Inner West Light Rail journeys. Customers can activate the RITA skill for Alexa by searching and enabling the app on smart devices.
“We recognise that the information landscape is shifting towards voice services, which is why we have been so quick to adopt and innovate in this space. We see RITA’s transport service disruption information as a perfect match with Alexa,” said Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary, Customer Services, Tony Braxton-Smith.
Customers can ask: “Alexa ask Transport RITA, what’s my morning commute like?” and hear up-to-date information on disruptions affecting their electronically-saved commute. Detailed information on this function is available via the companion Amazon Alexa mobile app.
Braxton-Smith added: “In NSW, we know transport is no longer just about building infrastructure and running services, but embracing new technology to provide the best services for our customers. RITA began as an interactive Chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Now RITA has evolved to become an essential component of digital assistant products like Alexa.”
Transport for NSW’s focus on new digital products includes the launch of OpalPay and an ongoing trial of contactless transport payments on the Manly to Circular Quay ferry route.
“This type of innovation is now part and parcel of travelling in Sydney, it would be hard to imagine your daily bus or train ride to work without real-time transport apps,” said Braxton-Smith.
Transport for NSW hopes to explore the options for more voice based skills on digital assistants, looking ahead to the potential of real-time bus disruption information and Opal voice activated balance top-ups in the home.