Fitting into the ‘new normal’, which includes looking into how technology can make our lives easier during the pandemic, PLUS Highway introduces PUTRI, which stands for PLUS Texting Realtime Interface. It can also be considered as the highway industry’s first ever chatbot.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated our lives to become more digitally dependent and tech-savvy. The increase of bandwidth usage in the country and the world over is a sure sign that we are embracing the use of more gadgets and the communication experience is today more robust. Hence, our PUTRI will provide real time interface to the thousands of enquiries on straightforward highway information,” said PLUS Chief Technology & Innovation Officer Shamsul Izhan Abdul Majid.
PUTRI is designed to interact with PLUS highway customers. Over time, PLUS hopes that the interactive conversations through its Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning model will allow PUTRI to handle over 70% of the 1,500 calls that their Traffic Monitoring Centre (TMC) receives averagely per day.
How to access PUTRI
To talk to PUTRI, you can interact with the Beta Version right now throughout the current public pilot phase on the PLUS website as well as their app, according to the press release. I couldn’t find PUTRI on their website. I did, however, find it easy to access PUTRI through the PLUS app (iOS, Android).
Once you open up the app, you’ll see PUTRI’s ‘face’ as an icon on the top right side next to the SOS icon. You can then start talking to the chatbot by picking from the topics provided (seen below).
It’s an easy and quicker way to get the information you need, including toll fares, traffic info, PLUSMiles info, products and facilities, and also promotions and events. This addition to help customers will enhance PLUS TMC service levels by allowing the personnel to focus more on emergency calls, conduct speedier and swifter coordination to assist customers in distress during traffic incidents.
“PUTRI will be able to attend to multiple and simultaneous queries pertaining to PLUS highway service, toll fares, real-time traffic information, inquiries on PLUSMiles, product, facilities, promotions as well as events,” said Shamsul Izhan.
The feature might not be able to help many people during the pandemic, as inter-state travel is still prohibited unless it is an emergency. However, it will still be a convenient way for the public to get traffic info faster than if they needed to call PLUS for the same info, especially when we’re allowed to travel again in the future.