Pakistan Railways has signed a deal with a Chinese defence and technology company to develop an artificial intelligence system that would allow passengers to plan and book door-to-door journeys using a single app.
Under the public–private partnership agreement, China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) will develop the service over the next 10 years.
Habibur Rehman Gilani, the chair of Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways, said the deal would not involve any finance from the rail operator.
Norinco Pakistan Railways will get a share in ticket price, freight and value-added services.
The system is being called the Railway Automated Booking and Travel Assistance initiative. It will allow passengers to book, and pay for each mode of transport on a journey using the app. They will also be able to check train status, choose seats, order car rentals and meals, as well as book a hotel.
Beijing-based Norinco has been involved in a number of projects in the China֪–Pakistan Economic Corridor, most notably the Orange Line in Lahore, the country’s first metro service (see further reading).