Artificial Intelligence has helped 12,000 Muscovites retrieve their impounded vehicles. Since April 2019, a virtual operator has been answering telephone calls to the Moscow Transport contact centre. The virtual assistant is able to provide information about vehicles that have been impounded for illegal parking, missing documentation, or vehicle failure.
“The Contact Centre continues to refine the virtual operator, enabling it to provide even more rapid assistance to city residents. After studying the statistics, we concluded that a third of residents are familiar with the impoundment procedure and are not interested in the details of how to reclaim their car – they just want to know where the car is. So now, people will only get detailed information about how to retrieve an impounded car when they answer a supplementary question from the robot. For 30% of customers the service has therefore become even more convenient,” said Andrey Savitsky, head of the City-wide Contact Centre.
The robot handles 80% of all calls to the impounded vehicle line during working hours. According to the plan, it will be able to answer all 100% of calls from city residents.
Muscovites are able to consult the virtual operator even if the vehicle does not belong to them, and also in the case of carsharing. The robot resolves the callers’ issues in just half the time it takes a “live” assistant. Virtual operators answer immediately, whereas waiting times for a human operator can sometimes be as long as 15 to 20 minutes.
The virtual operator is not the only way of finding out how to reclaim an impounded car: information is also available on the city portals mos.ru and parking.mos.ru.
The virtual operator has been deployed on the Moscow Government’s hotlines since 2014. It accepts meter readings, gives callers the address of their nearest city services centre, tells callers if their international passport is ready for collection, and replies to other questions. Since the spring of 2019, the hotline has been providing information about the city’s transport routes, how to buy tickets, ticket prices, transport infrastructure, Moscow’s parking areas, fines and impounded vehicles. In total, the virtual operator has taken 4 million calls since the beginning of 2019.