UK-based train operating company Virgin Trains has added a feature on Amazon Alexa virtual assistant for disabled passengers.
The JourneyCare feature will enable passengers to book assistance for their journey using simple voice commands.
The service functions through Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo. It is specially designed to help passengers with visual challenges or mobility issues.
Virgin Trains customer proposition director Toby Radcliffe said: “We are always looking at ways to improve the travelling experience for customers with disabilities and we are really pleased to be introducing this new update to our existing Alexa skill for customers needing to book extra assistance on their journey with us.
“We want to ensure train travel is accessible to as many people as possible and this is a further innovation in that direction.”
Customers can directly book assisted travel after buying their tickets through voice commands. The process eliminates the need to complete an online form or call the helpline to avail JourneyCare service.
The Alexa app also remembers customer information, further simplifying subsequent bookings.
According to Virgin Trains, the service takes two minutes to complete, nearly half compared to the conventional procedures.
Rail Sector Champion for the Minister for Disabled People Stephen Brookes said: “I welcome the new initiative by Virgin Trains, which will give disabled people a better booking experience.
“By utilising Alexa in this way, Virgin Trains recognises the importance of disabled people as being a key part of rail industry business, because those who are comfortable with and can access technology will find the system quick and efficient.”
Last year, Virgin Train started selling train tickets through Alexa.