The Autobahn (German: Autobahn, plural Autobahnen) is the federal controlled-access highway system in Germany. The official German term is Bundesautobahn (plural Bundesautobahnen, abbreviated BAB), which translates as "federal motorway". The literal meaning of the word Bundesautobahn is "Federal Auto(mobile) Track".
German autobahns have no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles. However limits are posted (and enforced) in areas that are urbanized, substandard, accident-prone, or under construction. On speed-unrestricted stretches, an advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) applies. A 2008 estimate reported that 52% of the autobahn network had only the advisory speed limit, 15% had temporary speed limits due to weather or traffic conditions, and 33% had permanent speed limits. Measurements from the German State of Brandenburg in 2006 showed average speeds of 142 km/h (88 mph) on a 6-lane section of autobahn in free-flowing conditions.
Germany's autobahn network has a total length of about 12,949 kilometres (8,046 mi) in 2015, which ranks it among the most dense and longest systems in the world. Longer systems can be found in China (111,950 kilometres (69,560 mi)), the United States (77,017 kilometres (47,856 mi)), and Spain (16,583 kilometres (10,304 mi)).
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