Since 2020, XEBRIS has been supporting the second-largest public media company in Europe, the WDR, in the editing of traffic information in the busiest federal state in Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia. Based on the FLOW product, which has already been established several times on the market, in addition to its technical maturity, the comprehensive options for optimizing manual workflows through freely configurable automatisms were decisive for the assignment. For the efficient export of traffic reports on a total of four waves, TMC, TPEG, VideoText / Web, and the VERA voice service, WDR, as a FLOW-PREMIUM customer, has all the modules that have already proven value at ORF & BR. FLOW also ensures bidirectional data exchange with the other ARD stations via a connection to the ARD exchange server (ATS). The support of WDR in the context of the ARD night service starting at the beginning of 2021, in which several ARD stations share the editorial work among themselves during the off-peak times, is supported with FLOW without any restrictions. In terms of technical operation, WDR follows the positive experiences of previous PREMIUM customers: it is fully handled by XEBRIS outside of the customer infrastructure as SaaS.
Austrian Broadcasting uses the product FLOW in its full range. The focus here is on the operation of a central traffic newsroom, distributed in two locations, which prepares the traffic reports for both Hitradio Ö3 and a total of nine federal state radio stations (ORF federal state studios).
The uniqueness of FLOW makes it possible for the centrally compiled traffic reports to be enriched and further processed by the regionally active federal state studios. In addition, TMC traffic reports are also compiled by the ORF traffic newsroom with FLOW and broadcasted via the ORS network to the navigation systems in Austria. Sources of information include the public safety organizations police, ambulance and fire brigade, more than 26,000 registered private traffic detectors, TomTom data and hundreds of traffic cameras of ASFINAG.
In Bavaria FLOW is fully integrated into the entire traffic editorial landscape of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, including 7 stations, more than 20 import sources and over 10 export channels. FLOW ensures an efficient data exchange between the participating systems handling a variety of formats and furthermore, enables the broadcasting of traffic and travel information via DAB + using the TPEG-based formats in the federal state of Bavaria. In addition, bidirectional data exchange with the ARD-wide Exchange Server (ATS) is supported.
In the context of the product launch, also parts of the existing, partly outdated traffic news infrastructure have been evaluated and optimized based on a jointly formulated concept. Thus, in addition to the introduction of the product FLOW as the central traffic editorial system, the BR-wide distribution of traffic data and the TMC delivery got redesigned.
Austria's largest automobile club uses FLOW as an automated data hub and provides traffic editors in private broadcasting with a tool to efficiently integrate traffic and travel news into their workflows. Thereby, the modularity and flexibility of FLOW as a native web solution can show all its strengths.
The second largest automobile club in Austria also works with FLOW for processing nation-wide traffic and travel information. In addition to several private radios, the ORF Telexet is also supplied directly by the ARBÖ traffic editors.
With FLOWgoesAI, the possibilities of a partial automation of the editorial workflow for the creation of traffic messages through the targeted integration of trustworthy AI (Artificial Intelligence) are evaluated. The main focus is on journalistic reliability, traceability and transparency in decision support. In the medium term, traffic editors should be relieved of the time-consuming basic work as much as possible and thus editorial resources are available for tomorrow’s challenges in broadcasting.
This project is being implemented in cooperation with the Austrian project partner RISC Software GmbH. The research project itself is funded by the aws (Austria Wirtschaftsservice), with funds from the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development, as part of the second round of the call for “Digitization - Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence”.