NS wants to be the frontrunner of sustainable mobility with an attractive product. We encourage employees, sector partners and stakeholders such as suppliers to collaborate with us in developing new technologies, services and products that will improve the service we provide to passengers. The new Innovation Board is in charge of coordinating the innovations.

Driving advice for drivers

Drivers get support with information about the speed the train should be going at, resulting in fewer unnecessary red signal approaches and delays. In 2018 the Rolling Time Advice system was further improved with, among other things, more accurate position determination and the addition of the train type. The roll-out is expected in 2019.


In 2018, conductors tested working with a smartwatch. Via a special app, the conductor gets a vibrating signal shortly before departure so that the departure process starts on time. The smartwatch counts down so that the train can depart at the exact time, down to the second. The app means that the conductor has the same departure time as the driver, allowing them to cooperate even more effectively on the train. The roll-out of the smartwatch is planned for 2019.

Deploying trains based on public transport smartcard data

Since December 2018, we have been planning the use of trains in part based on data from public transport smartcards. The data gives us a picture of how we can deploy trains at the same cost in such a way that they offer our passengers an improved chance of getting a seat. The SLT-type Sprinter trains have been running this way since the summer.

We also launched the Seat Searcher feature in the NS app. It indicates where in the train you can expect to still find empty seats. That expectation is based on public transport smartcard data and on the measuring points giving the weights on the railways. The Seat Searcher was tested on the Arnhem-Den Bosch route and is now also available on other routes. We are working on a national roll-out.

Public transport guide for personalised journey advice

In 2018 NS launched an app for a group of test users with personal, up-to-date and relevant journey information during the door-to-door journey. In this app users can place their planned journeys in a journey calendar. Before and during the journey they receive up-to-date information about the next journey step. For six stations on the ‘A2 corridor’ (between Amsterdam and Eindhoven), they can use a station plan with pedestrian routes.