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Mercedes revolutionises sat nav instructions

By Andy Enright, 12 Sep 2017 Car News

Mercedes revolutionises sat nav instructions

What3words requires just three words to navigate to any point on Earth

Let’s face it, entering addresses into sat nav systems can often be a pain. The address might not be listed and even if it is, you usually have to pull your car to the side of the road to enter because road and/or placenames are often words that voice recognition has difficulty with.

Mercedes-Benz has taken a radical approach to solving this problem. Its What3words voice command-oriented satnav divides the entire surface of the earth into three metre squares. Each of these 57 trillion squares gets its own unique three-word reference which means that areas that haven’t traditionally been addressable on sat nav systems such as rural tracks without names can easily be addressed.

Mercedes has worked to clean the word list so that there are no homophones like ‘pray’ and ‘prey’ and unsavoury terms have also been filtered out.

Debuting at the Frankfurt Show, the system allows you to zoom to the area you’re looking to travel to, whereupon the grid with three-word addresses is displayed.

It means that you’ll be able to direct, say, a taxi to exactly the right entrance of a large building or arrange to meet friends at a very specific point.

Sajjad Khan, vice-president of digital vehicle and mobility, said: “Three-word addresses are very simple to use, meaning drivers can give their car any precise destination and know they’re navigating to the correct location, every time."

The system is set to feature in Mercedes-Benz production cars from Q2 2018.