Voice branding : The BVG's custom voice created by Acapela Group will provide unequalled personalized and continuous efficient service.

voice branding - BVG voice - Acapela Group

For the first time, BVG, in collaboration with Acapela, developed a unified acoustic brand identity that is part of a large-scale sound branding process.

2.9 million journeys per day

The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (Berlin Transport Company) is the main public transport company of Berlin, the capital of Germany.  Also known as BVG, the company manages the city’s U-Bahn underground railway, tram, bus, replacement services (Ersatzverkehr, EV) and ferry networks.

In 2017, BVG set a record of 1,064 million passengers, which is more than 2.9 million journeys per day. For over 15 years, BVG has used the city-famous voice of Helga Bayertz. After her retirement, various alternatives were tried, but it quickly became clear that a new recognizable voice was needed. BVG is now modernizing its entire passenger information system and Acapela won the tender for the voice expertise.

The ambitious project includes a custom voice, unique to BVG, that will be instantly recognized by BVG’s users on their daily commute. Philippa is the official company voice, reliable and instantly recognizable.

“We look at the digital voice as an essential part of the whole plan. It was clear to us that we didn’t want a standard voice. Just like all our vehicles are yellow, it was important to speak with our own recognizable voice,” says Manuela St. Claire, Project Manager at BVG.

BVG was looking for a smart solution that enables real time information with high quality output, autonomous from any recording constraints, flexible and available 24/7. It is exactly what text to speech is all about.

Hello Philippa!

The Philippa voice is reliable and familiar  for BVG is now ready to inform passengers on their route. Hear voice samples herebelow:

  • - Sample 1 of Philippa's custom voice (Zug Abfahrt)

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  • - Sample 2 of Philippa's custom voice (Info)

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Manuela St. Claire adds: “The lead time required to record voice messages for future construction sites and detour announcements, is no longer a problem. Philippa’s voice can now easily inform passengers, in real time, of any disturbances along their route. This is an important step forward and the initial feedback is extremely positive”.

“We are very proud to be part of this innovative project. Voice branding is  now a strategic topic for transport companies and BVG fully integrated this consideration in their strategic approach. For Acapela, accompanying our customers in the development of their voice strategy is part of our core expertise. We not only provide a high quality voice that is excellent, technically speaking, but we also provide the voice that fits, based on Acapela’s latest innovations on neural TTS , comments Remy Cadic, CEO of Acapela Group.

About BVG
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is a public-company for local public transport (ÖPNV) in Berlin. In the urban area of Berlin as well as in the surrounding countryside, BVG is the operator of subways, streetcars and buses for over 90 years. BVG also operates several ferries on Berlin’s waterways. With over 15,000 employees, they stand for doing their best to make the city mobile.

About Acapela Group
How does your voice sound? Give a digital voice persona to your image.
Your voice matters and Acapela Group cares about it. The company is the European leader of voice solutions with 30 years of expertise, an enthusiastic team with a strong appetite for innovation.  Acapela Group is an independent subsidiary of Tobii Dynavox, the global leader in assistive technology for communication. The business aims to create digital voices that sound different, leveraging the Neural text to speech technologies. Custom & personalized voices adapted to the needs and context of application, based on promising results of VoiceAI.