Berlin’s First Driverless Bus Hits The Street…

Killing five.

Bus

Just kidding.

Berlin is already teeming with last-mile mobility options like shared bikes and e-scooters.

Now the city’s public transport company Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is set to add driverless buses to the mix, testing its first autonomous shuttles on a public road this month.

The BVG has been testing the self-driving bus, developed by French company EasyMile, in the confines of a campus for the past year. This month it will face real-world traffic conditions on a 600 metre stretch from an underground station in the north-western part of the capital.

OK, folks. The key term here is BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), the city’s public transport company. The joke around town is that BVG actually stands for Bin Vorsichtshalber Gelaufen or “decided to walk, just in case.” They’re not terribly reliable here, you see.

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Hey, Your Bus Ticket Is Untied

And it smells funny, too. But that’s not all that out of the normal in Berlin, come to think of it.

Ticket

Adidas has some new sneakers that aren’t just made for walking—they’re for taking public transport, too. The German clothing giant has struck a deal with the Berlin transit authority, BVG, in which Adidas will sell 500 pairs of sneakers that have year-long 2018 tickets sewn into them. An annual BVG ticket for zones A and B, which cover everything within the capital’s borders, costs €761 ($930). The EQT Support 93/Berlin shoes, however, cost just €180.

The cool thing, I think: Now when the BVG bus is late (and it will continue to be late, don’t worry) you can run to work and most likely get there faster, too.

“Most buyers will put the sneakers in a showcase and not travel with them.”

Police Brutality Is Real

Police in Berlin had to drag a man from a bus on Wednesday evening after he refused to stop eating a Döner which he’d brought on board.

Döner

It’s a far cry from the relaxed attitude promoted in BVG advertising.

Döner im Bus ist verboten – was ist denn erlaubt?

The Trains In Berlin Are Reliable

And don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Snow

Whenever it snows here, for instance, like it did big time over the weekend, you can rely on a few S-Bahn and Deutsche Bahn stretches to break down in earnest the next day, or in this case Monday.

Germany is a country unfamiliar with snow, you see, or at least I have to assume as much, because much of their technology is not designed to operate in this weird, white and powdery substance.

In their defense, though: I’m not a scientist or anything, but I think all of this more-snow-and-cold-than-usual has something to do with this global warming phenomenon thingy or something. Because its snowing right now, yet again. As we speak, so-to-speak. In the German Spring.

Auf die Bahn ist Verlass: Nach dem Schneefall vom Wochenende brach der S-Bahn- Verkehr am Montag auf mehreren Strecken zeitweise zusammen. Und am Hauptbahnhof wurden am Mittag die Zufahrten vor beiden Haupteingängen gesperrt, weil Schnee und Eisbrocken abrutschten.

Left-Wing Extremists Attack Berlin S-Bahn System, Nobody Notices

Long used to irregular service, missing trains and outages and shortages of every conceivable kind, tens of thousands of Berlin commuters failed to notice that they were the innocent victims of a vicious left-wing extremist arson attack yesterday.

Huge sections of the Berlin S-Bahn system (some here call it the Stress-Bahn) were disrupted on Monday after a left-wing group set a fire at the Ostkreuz station that caused utter chaos, as usual. In a communiqué issued by the group, they expressed their hope that the attack would be a valuable contribution to the valiant fight against nuclear power (in other countries I assume, as Germany has already capitulated here), militarism and racism, although not necessarily in that order.

“This is absoulutely shocking,” one stunned commuter noted. “I should have known something was up when I actually made it to work thirty minutes earlier than usual. The terrorist bastards.”

Police in Berlin have recently made some progress in fighting left-wing extremism, with the number of arson attacks on cars attributed to anarchists down to 54 in 2010 from 145 a year earlier.