Corporate Travel Management has added artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to its Lightning online booking tool in North America, the travel management company announced.
The updated tool uses multiple algorithms to “provide more relevant options to travelers as forecast accuracy continues to increase as more bookings are made,” said Joel Bailey, CTM’s chief travel officer for North America. Those algorithms work with variables such as company policies, traveler preferences and historical booking data.
The data includes not only a traveler’s historical booking data, but also millions of transactions to see what other travelers in similar situations have done, and when determining a traveler’s intent — for example, the most economical, eco-friendly or convenient option, said Leahy Mills, chief operating officer of CTM North America, in Sunday’s World Business Travel. He spoke at the association’s media day event.
For example, an economy-minded traveler booking an electric vehicle for the first time might not appreciate the importance of charging stations, and the device would warn the traveler to choose a hotel with a charging station. Mills said.
A team of data specialists has been working on the project for the past three years, and after the launch of North America, the capacity will be transferred to other international regions next year. Meanwhile, CTM is exploring other applications of the technology, Mills said.
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are future-proofing the technology,” he said. “Instead of risk management, why mitigate risk, have smart tools and systems to identify potential issues?”