Long Distance Traffic 2023

For our new startup programm we are looking for innovative solutions for DB Fernverkehr, the Long Distance Business Unit which provides national and cross-border long-distance rail services and road transport, within special fields of interest.

Develop your prototype and business model with us and open up new digital solutions for our long distance travellers as well as for the operation of DB Fernverkehr.

This 100 day signature program gives startups the chance to customize and live-test their solution to real challenges that DB is facing. What is in for you?

  • EUR 25,000, no equity taken
  • Exclusive access to DB experts, data and markets
  • The opportunity to live test your solution with the environment of Deutsche Bahn
  • Exclusive access to a network of selected coaching and mentoring experts

You will be supported by a dedicated DB mindbox startup manager and will have 24/7 access to our coworking space.

This is a great opportunity to lay the foundation for joint projects and successful long-term collaboration with Deutsche Bahn Group, Europe’s largest mobility and infrastructure provider.

Questions? Check out our FAQs.


Intelligent noise detection and analysis

Currently, there are no microphones inside or outside the passenger compartment of trains which could record rattles, whistles or even squeaks to identify them. Noise detection would allow unusual noises to be identified, send to maintenance and quickly be repaired. Similarly, if noises occur frequently, patterns could be identified and components can be replaced as a preventive measure. At present, there is no way to detect unusual noises apart from feedback from customers or on-board personnel. That’s why we are looking for an innovative way for noise detection and analysis! You would like to tackle this challenge? Then please apply, if you can:

Apply now
Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Noise Detection

Detect disturbing noises inside and/or outside of trains.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Evaluation and cause analysis

Draw conclusions about the cause of the noise.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Integration of cell phone sensors

Use cell phone sensors for noise recording which the on-board personnel carry with them (optional).


Sensorboxes to collect relevant data while driving long distance trains

In addition to the existing sensors within today’s ICE fleet, we are looking for further plug & play solutions to collect interesting data to optimize the experience while driving. That’s why we want to work with startups to find out which sensors could be easily retrofitted that would have added value for customers, employees, or maintenance. You can build a sensorbox that can detect temperature, smell, noise volume, viral load and air pressure in passenger waggons? Or a sensorbox for train toilets that can detect falls of passengers, floor humidity, viral load and air pressure?  We are all here for that! We would like to challenge you to propose sensorbox solutions for long distance trains with the following requirements:

Apply now
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Plug & Play suitable

It must be able to be retrofitted into the existing long distance train fleet as plug & play solution. WiFi and power are available.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Volker Emersleben
Connection of multiple sensors

Your solution can connect several sensors into a sensorbox (e.g. for detecting temperature, smell, noise volume, viral load and air pressure).

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Pablo Castagnola
Independent from train IT

It does not need to be connected to train IT.


Reduced energy consumption through optimized driving strategies

Train drivers have different driving styles which require more or less traction energy. However, these different styles are difficult to analyze in order to ultimately define the energy efficient methods. Drivers are trained in driving strategies, but these only apply to “standard cases” and don’t factor in specific operating situations. Therefore, the optimal strategy is chosen by the train driver based on his experience – but currently there is no way to integrate this knowledge into an electronical system. We are looking forward to your application if you can:

Apply now
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Pablo Castagnola
Analysis of energy and GPS data

Evaluate driving styles of particularly energy-efficient train driver based on various data sources and have experience with GPS data analysis.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Axel Hartmann
Detect energy efficient driving styles

Identify best-practice approaches and which driving styles represent the best practice at which locations and with which train series

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Stefan Wildhirt
Derive driving recommendations

Reduce traction energy consumption with automatically generated driving recommendations and thus save costs while maintaining at least the same level of punctuality


Reservable parking spaces at railway stations

Uncertainty about available parking spaces at the starting station prevents potential customers who need to get to the train station by car from travelling by rail. In principle, more than 33,000 DB BahnPark parking spaces available at stations but making a reservation is currently only possible in a few cases. Large-scale scaling has not yet taken place due to high retrofit costs and the heterogeneous software and hardware landscape at the parking lots. That is why we are looking for an innovative solution to reserve parking lots that can:

Apply now
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Axel Hartmann
Enables advance reservation

Eliminate uncertainty for customers traveling to the station in their own car by enabling reservation of parking spots in advance.

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang
Solution is API-capable

Create a scalable solution for (advance) reservation of parking spaces via app/ desktop (+ at best API-capable).

© Deutsche Bahn AG / Christian Bedeschinski
No or minimal retrofitting necessary

Be based on the existing hardware if possible or manages without it. Today's hardware and software equipment in parking spaces is heterogeneous.


30. Apr. 2023

Application Deadline

Last day to apply for the program

12. May. 2023

Announcement of candidates

Invitation of selected teams

01. Jun. 2023

Selection Day

Pitch your solution live on stage to an expert jury and audience

19. Jun. 2023

Start of Program

Start of the 100 day PoC phase to live test a prototype in cooperation with DB