Navigation Start-Up what3words Gets More Money From Mercedes

Mercedes increased its investment and now owns approximately 10 percent of the company.

Mercedes-Benz nutzt als erster Automobilhersteller innovatives Adresssystem
Daimler AG - Global Communicatio—Daimler AG

They say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Well in the business world, it’s “If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.” The auto business is becoming increasingly high-tech nowadays, making it tough to stay at the forefront. Rather than building up new technology from scratch automakers are doing the next best thing, investing in start-ups. Looking for a new infotainment system, Daimler has made a large investment in the start-up what3words.

Start-up what3words has divided the world into 57 trillion three-by-three squares. Each one of these squares has been given a unique three-word address, allowing the company to easily map places where street addresses simply don’t exist. An algorithm then applies a list of about 25,000 words per language in a way that you won’t have easily confused name combinations right new to each other.

Mercedes is planning on using an entirely new infotainment system in its new A-Class. They call it the “Mercedes-Benz User Experience.” Set to be in production as early as this spring, navigation destinations can be searched for with the help of the new three-word address. For giggles, you can check out what your address would be at https://map.what3words.com/. I found out that the Daytona International Speedway can be found at weekend.half.waxing. Sounds funny but it does help minimize confusion.

Speaking on the expanded partnership Sajjad Khan, Vice President of Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler said, "With Mercedes-Benz User Experience, we have moved one big step closer to our goal of making the vehicle into a mobile assistant. Our collaboration with what3words is heading in exactly this direction: Inputting locations in a simple way makes life easier for our customers and ensures a special experience. For this reason, we will further expand out cooperation with what3words in future and develop new fields of application."

Pretty soon we’ll just be yelling three-word phrases at our in-car displays. I supposed that’s better than four-letter words.