Mercedes views the world in three words

By CARSIFU | 12 September 2017

FRANKFURT: Mercedes-Benz will be the first car maker to use a new address system that makes locations easily and clearly identifiable – even where there are no addresses.

It will be deployed in the next six months as a standard navigation solution in a car. Visitors to the Frankfurt Motor Show can try it out from today.

Known as “what3words”, the new coordinate system organises the world in three words.

This means that every one of these locations is identified and easy to memorise. An algorithm uses its vocabulary of 25,000 words in such a way that any combinations liable to be confused are kept well apart and so that both humans and machines are able to notice mistakes when entering an address. The system is now available in 14 languages.

Conventional address systems are unsuitable for many everyday needs. For example, there are many areas of the world where there are no addresses – such as away from settlements, in parks, forests or mountains. On top of that, addresses can be imprecise or ambiguous, e.g. if there is more than one instance of the same street name.

Although every location on Earth can be identified by its GPS coordinates, the complicated sequences of numbers are hard to remember.

what3words won the attention of Daimler and CEO Dieter Zetsche and was selected in February 2017 for the second programme of the innovation platform STARTUP AUTOBAHN.

"With what3words' easy address entry method, we're adding another logical element to our navigation system," says Sajjad Khan, Vice President Digital Vehicle & Mobility, Daimler AG. "You can enter your destination by speaking just three words and are then guided there to within an accuracy of nine square metres. Anywhere in the world.”

what3words is created by a startup formed in 2013. The startup also goes by the same name.