No more poor quality food on trains! IRCTC’s new software solution is good news for passengers; how it works

By: | Published: May 7, 2018 9:59 PM

Hygiene standards on Indian Railways trains - be it of food or toilets - has increasingly become a focus area for the national transporter when it comes to enhancing passengers experience. In a big step that will come as a welcome move for passengers, IRCTC is making use of Artificial Intelligence to make sure hygienic food reaches trains.

IRCTC is using artificial intelligence to monitor food qualityCalled WOBOT, IRCTC’s latest software will be a gamechanger for food quality standards like never before.

Hygiene standards on Indian Railways trains – be it of food or toilets – has increasingly become a focus area for the national transporter when it comes to enhancing passengers experience. In a big step that will come as a welcome move for passengers, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) is making use of Artificial Intelligence to make sure hygienic food reaches trains. Called WOBOT, IRCTC’s latest software will be a gamechanger for food quality standards like never before. Indian Railways over many years has been slammed for the quality of food it serves on trains – sometimes incidents of insects being found in food have also been reported. The new artificial intelligence software aims to put a stop to this by maintaining a close watch on IRCTC’s base kitchens with the help of CCTV cameras and a complaint-generating ‘ticket-based’ mechanism. Here’s how the system works:

1. All sixteen base kitchens of IRCTC have been fitted with high definition cameras. These cameras are connected to huge monitors for artificial intelligence vision detection.

2. According to IRCTC, the live stream of all the 16 kitchens is played live in the Delhi headquarters of the software. (see image above)

3. This system is tuned to detect any unexpected change that is not in line with the pattern that is fed into the machine. For example; if the system detects cockroaches, insects, rodents then it will automatically alert the concerned officials in the system with the help of a complaint ‘ticket’. This WOBOT system for IRCTC will also detect if the chef is not wearing the right uniform or head-gear.

4. In case the concerned kitchen or contractor does not take the necessary action within stipulated time, then the complaint ticket is automatically forwarded to higher officials – finally reaching the IRCTC MD.

5. This module has been developed by WOBOT, a Delhi-based company and does not rely much on human intervention. “Everything from the complaint ticket generation to tracking the redressal is taken care of by the artificial intelligence-enabled software,” a IRCTC official told Financial Express Online.

The system is the latest experiment by IRCTC to address passenger concerns of food quality and if it works effectively, will certainly go a big way in ensuring that the food preparation and packaging process meets the set standards. However, there is still the process of transporting the food to the railway station, loading it onto the Indian Railways trains and finally, storing it will till it is time to serve it to the passengers. This crucial gap is something that Indian Railways should look at addressing next in order to make sure good food is served to its passengers.

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