News Item

Mercedes introduces 3-word address satnav

Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to be the world's first car manufacturer to launch in-vehicle 3-word address navigation.

The announcement follows their partnership with the innovative addressing system 'what3words' (w3w).

Instead of relying on the likes of postcodes, which may cover areas of 100s of sqare metres, w3w divides the entire world - including the oceans - into 3x3 metre squares, each uniquely identified by 3 everyday words. Although a location can be defined geographically to mm in lat/long, humans are not good at remembering long sets of figures - but they are much better at remembering a cluster of 3 words in their own language. Thus, any position on Earth can be defined and recalled easily to an accuracy of no worse than 2.12 meteres (the distance from centre to corner of a 3x3 m square).

There are 56,666,666,666,667 3x3 m squares on the Earth's surface and w3w covers these with a 40,000-word dictionary, giving 64,000,000,000,000 unique 3-word combinations - more than adequate for the job. There are other language versions, but none of these needs more than 25,000 words to cover their appropriate landmass, and all the world's seas (from a few metres from coastlines) are covered only by English words.

One can find a w3w address at the 'w3w Map' link below. Hence, to guide a vehicle or person to the Institute's RGS location, instead of using postcode 'SW7 2AT', they could be sent to the front door with post (thing.push.lots), to check in at Reception (narrow.super.found) or to unload stage equipment at (below.payer.makes).

Details can be found at the links below, with a comprehensive downloadable Technical Appraisal available as a PDF . .

  • 14 September 2017
  • RIN

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