German car giant Daimler has invested an undisclosed amount in British tech startup What3Words.
The Mercedes manufacturer has taken a 10 per cent stake in What3Words and marks the latest in a string of investments by car companies in the digital mapping sector.
“The benefits for Mercedes-Benz customers are clear: 3 word addresses are more reliable than street addresses or postcodes, allowing drivers to navigate with precision to a specific building entrance or car park. They also cover the entire world, and can be used to drive to parks, beaches and pop-up markets – so drivers can enjoy the range of urban and rural spaces that don’t have fixed street addresses at all,” a spokesperson for 3Words said.
The innovative startup has created a geo-mapping solution which maps the entire world with a resolution down to three metres giving each cell a unique three word value. By splitting the world into 3×3 metre cells the startup can allocate a unique three word address for each cell on the planet.
This approach is designed to make it easier to remember and communicate for humans compared with complex co-ordinates used by machines. The British mapping startup last year created an entirely new postcode system for Mongolia.
“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,” Daimler’s head of digital and mobility said.
The luxury car manufacturer has built what3words into their next generation infotainment system launching next year. Drivers will be able to type or say 3 words to pinpoint an exact destination anywhere in the world. The system has been built into a demo unit on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
what3words eliminates many of the frustrations encountered by drivers using voice to enter traditional street addresses and is the first addressing system specifically designed for voice input.
The startup, founded in 2013, boasts several existing backers, including Force Over Mass Capital, Horizon Ventures and Intel Capital, the venture arm of the chipmaker.