The agreement was signed by the member of the management board of DB for digitalisation and technology, Dr Sabina Jeschke, chairman of the management board of DB Regio, Dr Jörg Sandvoss, and Siemens Mobility CEO, Ms Sabrina Soussan.

The agreement makes the Ideas Train available as a platform for partners in the vehicle industry to test components and prototypes, with Siemens Mobility the first system manufacturer to sign up. The companies says the partnership aims to merge their components and develop the platform to create a travel experience with digital features that is designed to meet the passenger needs.

“With the Ideas Train we are making a substantial contribution in the research and development of vehicles for the passenger transport of the future,” says Jeschke.

"Ongoing digitalisation has meant that customers' needs are undergoing a dramatic change, and they are changing at an increasingly rapid pace,” says Soussan. “The Ideas Train gives us the chance to work with DB to develop and test technologies for a better, integrated passenger experience. We will also be using MindSphere, the cloud-based open internet-of-things operating system, from Siemens.”

“We want to work with our partners to develop new strategies for equipping regional trains,” says Sandvoss. “The Ideas Train should show local transport authorities what is possible and convince them to think about innovations like these early on, during the tender stage."

The Ideas Train already features the first prototype from Siemens, an active noise cancelling system in the “power napping” module which reduces noise from wind, HVAC-systems, and bogies to allow passengers to sleep better. Israeli company Silentium is providing support to Siemens for this system.

The smart seat, which was built in collaboration with Polish-based TAPS, offers a number of digital services including ticket purchase and check-in with an integrated touchscreen. Passengers could also order food and drinks from the on-board restaurant, listen to music and watch films as well as customise the seat position and save the settings in the cloud using Siemens MindSphere. If they change trains and log in, their seat moves to the saved position and their film picks up where it left off.

The Ideas Train also features “my cabin”, a premium seat aimed at businesses customers which features a window that can be frosted at the push of a button for privacy, a large screen that can be connected to a laptop, and an ergonomic, adjustable chair.