Day 6 was our trip to Ulm to see the city and the church which is the tallest in all of Germany: Ulm Minister. The church has a staircase of 768 steps which takes you to the top of the church—which of course we had to do. The staircase was extremely tight and winding which caused many people to become very dizzy and tired, including me. It took a long time, but eventually we did conquer the church steps. During WWII over 80% of the town of Ulm was destroyed however the church remained essentially completely untouched. This gave the church the nickname of “The Finger of God.” Outside of the church were tons of Albert Einstein figures that were about two and a half feet tall. We later learned that Albert Einstein was born in the city of Ulm and that you can purchase those figures which benefits a type of art organization in Ulm. We also saw the house that Albert Einstein’s grandparents lived in which is located right in downtown Ulm. Also on the city tour we saw many historically-German styled buildings including the Ulm Town Hall, which is called Rathaus. We also saw the Ulm Stadhaus which is similar to a museum and tourist information center. Following the tour we went to a restaurant that specializes in unique crepes. I got the “super pancake” which is essentially a massive crepe with pork, mushrooms, onions, fried feta cheese, a meat-stuffed tomato, and other vegetables on top of it. Although it was very delicious I still wasn’t able to finish it.
We then went to the University and had a talk with a representative from BMW. His presentation was very interesting and gave powerful insight on where the future of BMW was headed. He said that Uber, Tesla, and BMW are currently at the forefront of the autonomous driving industry. He also described the different levels of autonomous driving which I didn’t know existed. He said that BMW’s aim is to have many level 2 cars hopefully on the road by 2021. These types of cars are still mainly operated by humans, but can be driven by themselves in certain situations like on highways. They will be able to regulate their speed and change or alter their lane positioning. He also said that he believes the car industry will never completely move to fully electric which I thought was very interesting because we’ve been hearing the opposite from the other companies. He said that electric cars are far too heavy and the regular combustion engine is far too popular and convenient to be completely phased out. He thinks that there will be a mixture of both electric and gas cars in the future which I think is also true.