Frankfurt Airport (FRA) operator Fraport and Deutsche Bahn’s IT service provider DB Systel have teamed up to trial a robotic concierge at the airport.

Named FRAnny, the new socially intelligent robot answers questions and advises passengers on gate information and directions to facilities, as well as providing instructions on how to access the free Wi-Fi.

The collaboration will see the partners launch a six-week trial at Frankfurt Airport to assess FRAnny in terms of functionality, customer acceptance, and practical usefulness.

“FRAnny uses data from the airport’s information system to understand and answer questions relating to travel.”

Based on artificial intelligence (AI) and a cloud-based voice-user interface (VUI), FRAnny uses data from the airport’s information system to understand and answer questions relating to travel, airport facilities and more.

FRAnny can communicate in nine languages and will be able to engage in small talk with passengers, according to the airport operator.

The development is part of an initiative launched by Fraport and Deutsche Bahn in 2017 to harness the power of artificially intelligent, voice-based customer service systems.

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By GlobalData

Both companies tested FRAnny’s predecessor in spring 2018 at Frankfurt Airport for four weeks, during which 4,400 interactions took place and 75% of passengers rated their exchange positively.

Based on the passengers’ feedback, the artificial intelligence component and the robot’s user interface were improved.

After testing FRAnny at Frankfurt Airport, the partners plan to trial the AI-based service at Berlin central rail station in June this year.

Human customer service agents at German rail firm Deutsche Bahn’s information centre will receive smart support from FRAnny’s sister, SEMMI.