May 16, 2020

Škoda and Siemens consortium wins €115m rail car contract from Czech Railways

Czech Railways
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Siemens and Skoda to manufacturer train cars for ČD
Czech Railways (ČD), the Czech railway operator, has awarded a €115m (US$134.4mn) contract to a consortium made up of Škoda and Siemens.

The deal w...

Czech Railways (ČD), the Czech railway operator, has awarded a €115m (US$134.4mn) contract to a consortium made up of Škoda and Siemens.

The deal will see the joint venture develop 50 Viaggio Comfort passenger cars to the Czech Republic’s main railway operator.

Siemens will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, and delivery stages of the passenger cars.

Škoda will execute the vehicles’ electrics and mechanics at the assembly line, whilst working on static commissioning procedures.

It is anticipated that the two firms will deliver the first vehicles to ČD in 32 weeks’ time.


“The new concept combines the comfort and equipment of high-speed trains with the advantages offered by locomotive-hauled trains,” said Pavel Krtek, CEO of Czech Railways.

“This will enable us to further strengthen our competitiveness in mainline transport, not only within the Czech Republic but also in Central Europe.”

With the new passenger cars, ČD aims to enhance its mainline services through expansion and flexibility.

According to Siemens, the cars can be used as five-unit trains, with each end featuring a standard UIC coupling allowing the vehicles to be adaptable to other cars.

When formed as a functioning train, the locomotive will stretch for 330m and will feature 330 seats, travelling at speeds of up to 200km/h.

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Jun 16, 2021 x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line

2 min and BSH announce plans to bring speech-to-intent AI to the assembly line that will increase factory efficiency and improve worker ergonomics has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines. 


According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.


What Sets Apart? 

After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.  


  • Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions. 
  • Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately. 
  • Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations. 


How Voice Automation Works

Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production. 


‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’. 


Future Global Adoption 

In the coming years, BSH and will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier. 


Said Probal Lala,’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’. 



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