berlin bus, Source: SenUVK, Stadt Berlin

Free automated electric buses roll out onto Berlin’s streets

Free automated electric buses roll out onto Berlin’s streets

The fleet of small yellow autonomous vehicles has grown since last year’s trial run and will be ready to greet travelers come December

Come December, citizens and visitors of Berlin will be able to hop aboard the city’s small electric autonomous minibuses. The vehicles are part of a trial project which has grown substantially compared to its pilot run last year and chart a course for the transformation of Berlin’s entire mobility network.

A curiosity for everyone to experience

Also called “little yellows” (kleine Gelbe) the autonomous electric buses will run on the routes in Alt-Tegel for an entire year, starting this December. Not only that, but they will be entirely free to use as part of this large-scale testing period.

Initial trials were held in 2019 when there was but one little yellow bus (where there are now 3 of them), running on a single track. Now, another route will also be available on the streets of Alt-Tegel, Medebacher Weg, Schlieperstrasse and Treskowstrasse. An additional extension of this new route is also currently being planned.

The launch of this project has been made possible thanks to the concentrated efforts of Berlin’s Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, who managed to secure a total of 9.8 million euros in 2020 and 2021 in funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

The vehicles themselves have also undergone upgrades compared to last year. Not only are there more of them, but they will also be able to ramp up their speed on more demanding routes. Up from their previous limit of 12 km / h, they will now be able to travel at 15 km / h and later up to 18 km / h.

Under the leadership of the Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, this two-year research project is being carried out together with the BVG, the Berlin Agency for Electromobility (eMO) as well as several other partner organisations. The project is also supported by the Reinickendorf district and the Berlin-Tegel fire brigade, which provides parking spaces for the minibuses on their premises.



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