Ljubljana relaunches city bot after corona hiatus
The bot is able to help citizens with their inquiries but had to take a break during the height of the pandemic
- May 21, 2020 17:30
- Anton Stoyanov
Say hello – or better yet “Welcome back” – to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana’s chat robot Ljubo. In normal times, Ljubo has been of great use to citizens and visitors of the city as he has been able to answer many inquiries and questions related to the urban area’s functioning and goings-on. Yet the pressures of the pandemic proved far too much for him, and authorities quickly reached the decision to shut him down temporarily.
That was done in order to prevent miscommunication. During the first days of the crisis, questions about the local government’s response and actions about the coronavirus skyrocketed – thus creating a significant risk for providing inaccurate information and advice on policies and approaches. The best decision, according to Ljubljana’s government, was to give the bot a much-deserved break.
Back in action
But now, with the height of the crisis finally behind us, the municipal government of Ljubljana has given the go-ahead for Ljubo’s triumphant return. With things slowly returning back to normal, the chatbot can once again prove useful to those looking for answers to their questions regarding urban topics in the city.
Since the robot’s introduction back in 2018, he has quickly gained popularity – with the most coveted and sought-after function being his public transport timetables – a must-have for any and all travellers, traversing the capital of Ljubljana.
Other popular functions are the information panels for shared bike stations and the availability of free parking spaces around the urban area – as well as the waste collection schedule for different parts of the city. The introduction of Ljubo was a great achievement and success for Ljubljana’s local government as it gave citizens yet another smart solution that could substantially improve their lives and user experience.
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