FCM Travel Solutions has announced it is enhancing its AI chatbot application Sam with extra features for use by travel managers.

Sam blends AI technology with the help of FCM consultants to deliver personalised information to business travellers’ mobile devices through a chat-based interface. The premium version for use by FCM clients’ travellers was launched last November in the UK, USA, Canada, France and Switzerland. It has now also been released in Ireland, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The new version for travel managers and bookers enables them to manage their travellers’ itineraries so they are aware of potential issues and can take appropriate action or communicate directly with the traveller.

Sam’s update will also provide enhanced traveller safety and duty-of-care features, as the app will recognise the user’s location via itinerary information and GPS tracking. The app will match their location with any critical incidents, triggering real-time alerts with the ability to respond with appropriate action for the individual traveller.

FCM says another new feature in development is the Sam Community, which will allow fellow travellers to share tips and advice.

FCM plans to launch Sam in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Poland by the end of 2018.  

Michel Rouse, chief technology officer for EMEA at FCM Travel Solutions, said: “Our primary focus is on ensuring Sam is consistently updated and relevant to the needs of business traveller uses. FCM’s whole philosophy around the development of Sam was the need to support business travellers and give them an enjoyable experience on the move, making the whole process of business travel as stress-free as possible.

“However, we are also developing a version of Sam for travel managers in response to demand from our clients to use its capabilities so that it is relevant and useful to bookers, EAs and managers who need to stay up to date with their travellers throughout their trip.

“At the same time, we are making sure Sam stays at the forefront of emerging technologies by looking at ways to integrate innovations such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and fast-developing opportunities such as on the Wechat platform in China.”


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