By combining wide-ranging analyses of trends and technology with research activities and customer surveys, we were able to identify what features passengers would like to see in trains.
This stage continued for over a year. Once it was finished, we held workshops where we used the results to come up with ideas for new products.
We use the term "persona" to refer to a specific group of representative passengers. We identified five types of persona that, when considered together, formed a comprehensive cross-section of rail users that covered the entire travel chain. These profiles illustrate important characteristics and enable designers to understand the specific, personal needs of different travellers.
Developing the designs
We based the initial concepts on the information gathered from multiple customer interviews and our analyses of other means of transport.
We ultimately produced approximately 200 individual concepts, and then used these to generate design proposals that were tailored to the personas' requirements. By integrating detailed design elements, colours and materials, we were able to bring these proposals to life and create an initial range of photorealistic visuals in our CAD tools.
These models enabled us to outline the technical requirements that, in turn, formed the basis of the project's mock-up.
During the design phase, we performed a number of customer trials to help develop our ideas, assess our prototypes and test the initial 3D design. The personas were filtered according to a number of different criteria (e.g. age, occupation, number of train journeys, digital affinity) so that we could focus on specific ones and create a representative image of their needs during testing.
Creating a network of business partners
Companies from a wide range of sectors joined forces with us to make the interior designs a reality. Over 30 firms are currently involved in the project, contributing great ideas and prototypes. Thanks to their work, the Ideas Train is evolving and taking shape step by step.
A full-size model of a double-decker regional train coach gives people the chance to see and try out the innovations in the Ideas Train for themselves. Consisting of a total of 22 modules, the mock-up doesn't depict the interior of one specific carriage: instead, it is a showcase for many different options and proposals.
Following the model's completion, we performed additional qualitative and quantitative market research tests on the Ideas Train concept using all of the personas we had identified.
After 13 months building the mock-up, we unveiled it at the Nuremberg Arena in the presence of 300 specially invited guests from business and industry, regional transport authorities, government ministries and DB's own management.
The Ideas Train is an open-ended platform for proposals. DB and its business partners will continue to work on the project, designing solutions that address new challenges as they arise over time and creating a space for trying out fresh ideas.