Don't worry — the computers aren't taking over just yet. The TravelBot is what TfL calls the 'next step in customer service' — here to make Londoners' journeys on the sprawling transport network that bit easier.
TravelBot chats to customers directly through Facebook messenger, instantly informing them when their bus is due to arrive, providing service updates and tube maps.
Why is TfL launching TravelBot now? Because of the hundreds of messages it receives every day on their Facebook pages. With TravelBot, TfL hopes to respond to these queries with greater speed.
So far, so not-particularly-revolutionary; many apps already give users all that information, just not in a chat layout. However, TfL claims that the more people that use the service, the more the bot will learn and improve. It seems that this launch is just the beginning for TravelBot; soon it may be able to provide journey planning information, status alerts and one day colonisation of the human race (we might have made that last one up).
Londoners' first impressions of TravelBot appear to be mixed:
Testing out the New TFL Travelbot. Helpful and entertaining pic.twitter.com/1LCAlDnwyT— Lexi (@NaixelXO) June 13, 2017
To access the TfL TravelBot, visit its Facebook page.