- Machine learning to enhance automated transfer platform
- Upgrade will increase efficiency, help reduce CO2 emissions
- TUI app to provide live vehicle tracking, transfer timing and notifications
- Platform launched this month in Mallorca, with further key destinations to be added throughout 2022
TUI Group, one of the world’s leading tourism groups, is implementing machine learning for its global shared-transfer operations platform in collaboration with Mobi Systems, a Boston based startup using advanced techniques to optimise scheduling. This continues TUI’s investment in digital platform capabilities and is part of a major upgrade to its operations system - increasing efficiency, enhancing service and supporting sustainable development.
In 2019, TUI sold over 31 million transfers, transporting customers between airports, hotels and points of interest in destinations around the world. Shared transfer scheduling is automated through TUI’s global transfer operations platform, but this will now be enhanced through additional machine learning capabilities.
The transfer platform will leverage different integrations to source real-time data for flights, traffic, weather, vehicle inventory and customer bookings – the key variables that influence transfer schedules. Through streaming this data to Mobi, its machine learning technology can continuously calculate the most efficient transfer plans in real time, updating schedules instantly and automatically as circumstances change. In addition to substantial time savings due to the increased speed of the transfer platform, machine learning will also significantly reduce operation costs and help cut CO2 emissions through greater vehicle optimisation and more efficient transfer routing.
“Integrating new technologies, such as machine learning, helps ensure we deliver the best customer experience through having a faster, more stable and more accurate platform,” Said Peter Ulwahn, Chief Digital Officer of TUI Musement, the Tours & Activities division of TUI Group. “Our transfer scheduling is already automated, but with Mobi it will be faster – what previously took hours can be done in seconds - and it will continue to become even more efficient. The huge advantage of this system is that it can scale to schedule the millions of transfers we manage, while also enabling us to deliver a personalised customer experience.”
“Every vertical leader in travel and hospitality wants to provide cutting edge technology and service to their operations teams and customers, but very few are able to go from RFP to integrated and deployed solution in a matter of months,” Added Anne Jaffe, Mobi Systems CEO. “The TUI team is tremendously technically adept and collaborative, which has produced an online planning solution that will start strong and continue to improve every day it is online.”
Through working with Mobi, the TUI app will also be upgraded to include live vehicle tracking, expected arrival/departure times, and instant notifications of changes to a transfer plan. These features will complement existing functionality, such as advance information on timing and pick-up location of all transfers. All processes are GDPR compliant, and no personal data is held in the system. The machine learning technology was tested during 2021 and is being launched in Palma de Mallorca in January 2022, with the rollout to continue in key Mediterranean destinations in the coming months.