What made Daimler buy a stake in what3words’ addressing system?

Jan 15, 2018



Daimler has acquired a 10% share in what3words – the UK-based startup which has reinvented the global addressing system. What what3words has basically done is divide the surface of the entire planet into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares. Each of these squares is then identified with a fixed tag of three words (bids.inches.coast, for example), which are much simpler to use and remember when compared to geographic coordinates. Daimler will be integrating this addressing system as the standard navigation solution in the upcoming models of the Mercedes-Benz, starting with the A-Class this spring.

Daimler’s current car infotainment system, Comand, has constantly come under criticism for not being user-friendly. So, when the auto giant decided to overhaul the system to MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), it made sure to bring in only those technologies that would make the life of its customers easier. And what3words fit naturally into the scheme of things.

What3words will allow Mercedes drivers to enter their destination by speaking just three words, overcoming common navigation problems like duplicate addresses or similar addresses. Users will also be saved from the frustratingly long process of inputting street addresses into navigation systems.

“With Mercedes-Benz User Experience, we have moved one big step closer to our goal of making the vehicle into a mobile assistant”, explains Sajjad Khan, Vice President of Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler. “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 our cooperation with what3words in future and develop new fields of application.”

Smartwatch integration for door-to-door navigation

Mercedes’ new multimedia system will also integrate with iOS- and Android-based smartwatches to enable highly useful and practical door-to-door navigation. Using a feature called Send2Car, addresses can directly be sent to the vehicle from the smartwatch. Another feature called Parked Vehicle Locator service will show the automobile’s location within a radius of 1.5 km, while ‘First and Last Mile’ functionality can be used for getting directions to the parked vehicle or from the vehicle to the final destination in a pedestrian zone.