Mercedes to implement voice activated ‘what3words’ navigation
Mercedes claims to be the first car brand to fully integrate a voice activated ‘what3word’ navigation system in a car. What3word is a London startup that ingeniously divided the whole world in 3 by 3 metre squares that you can identify by three words like ‘staples.system.habit’ for example, uniquely attributed to it.
A phrase like “navigate to what3words staples.system.habit” spoken out loudly to the car’s navigation system will guide you exactly to a 3 by 3 metre spot at the entrance of the Mercedes-Benz client center in the Käsbrünnelstaße in Sindelfingen, Germany.
New geo-coding system
What3words was invented and created in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, Jack Waley-Cohen, Mohan Ganesalingam, and Michael Dent who developed a new geo-coding system with a 3 metre resolution, dividing the whole earth map into 57 trillion 3 m by 3 m squares.
By giving each one of it an unique three words combination like “planet.inches.most” for the exact location of the Statute of Liberty in New York for instance, people can easily identify an exact spot and remember it, while gps coordinates are far more difficult to be remembered by humans.
25.000 plain English words
What3words uses an algorithm with some 25.000 plain English words, offering more combinations than the 57 trillion needed for all squares. The same vocabulary can be translated in different languages, being available in 14 languages so far, including Mongolian.
The unique advantage of the system is that each 3 metre square in the most remote and uninhabited outskirts of the world can be identified instantly using a special app containing a 10 megabit database on a smartphone. According to What3words 4 billion people in the world don’t have an exact postal address. With what3words they have one for free.
With this system the postman can find them anywhere, even in the plains of Mongolia. That’s exactly why the Mongolian post service was one of the first to work with what3words and got it’s own Mongolian version.
Land Rover integrates what3words in its off-road navigation app ARDHI, enabling users to share the most remote routes with each other to 3 metres precise. Mercedes-Benz will integrate it in its car navigation system in the future and lets visitors at the IAA Frankfurt motor show experiment with it on the stand these days.