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RAILTEL addresses the preliminary stages of a project which aims to provide interactive, speech-based passenger information services via telephone. These services will rely on a multilingual human-machine interface, designed to meet the inherently transnational requirements of the transportation field. An early field test will be based on existing speech technology, where this is sufficiently robust and mature. More advanced speech recognition and understanding techniques will be investigated if required. Two national railway operators are involved in the consortium, which also includes providers of speech technology and developers of information services, as well as research centres working in the field of man-machine communications. The consortium will eventually be enlarged to include as many European railway companies as possible, in collaboration with the MAIS project. The service envisaged should be capable of handling telephone traffic of millions of calls each year in each country, thus creating a promising market for both service providers and equipment manufacturers.

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Centro Studi e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni SpA
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Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 TORINO

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