What3words – three words deliver ground-breaking navigation.


What3words simplifies mobility: you simply get into the car, say a combination of three words and you'll be taken to your desired location much more precisely than with a street address or GPS co-ordinates.

Squaring the globe

How big is the world? As big as 57 billion 3x3-metre squares. What initially sounds so impossibly big to imagine is in fact something very simple yet so incredibly precise: what3words has turned the globe into a series of squares. The idea behind CEO Chris Sheldrick's company is to give every single one of these squares their own name composed of a combination of three words from the dictionary. The result is a software-based, global address system which is at least as precise but massively more simple to comprehend than any road address of set of GPS co-ordinates. And above all, much easier to use. "People are used to thinking in words as opposed to in numbers," says Sheldrick who co-founded what3words. This simple realisation is the basis of the secret to the success of the business upon whose services more than 600 other companies in 170 different countries now rely.

Three words. One place

The advantage of a semantic address system is simple. Isn't it easier to remember a combination like "waters.candle.older" instead of a set of multi-digit co-ordinates? It most definitely is! And it also means that it's possible to quickly and simply share a location without the risk of mixing it up with another location, for example. "With this approach, we're able to open up precise access to locations which may not even have an address," highlights Sheldrick. "We have found a way of making the whole world accessible with just three words." Who knows, maybe "waters.candle.older" refers to a 3×3-metre square somewhere in the South American jungle or in the middle of a city somewhere. There is no link between the combination of words and the respective location. Assignment of the words is random by means of an algorithm, explains Sheldrick.

Mercedes-Benz on-board
Numerous companies from all manner of sectors are already fans of what3words. The software is also expected to change the way we drive – and Mercedes-Benz recognises that. The German car manufacturer integrated the system into their vehicles in 2018, combining it with their voice control system. Sheldrick tells users: "It can drastically simplify navigation when driving, especially when it comes to places where road names exist multiple times or when the conventional address search systems mark a location as being in the middle of a building complex and don't show where the entrance is." From now on, mobility looks different: you simply get into your Mercedes-Benz, say the three-word combination and the vehicle will take you exactly there where you want to go – to a square measuring 3×3 metres.

Article: Mercedes-Benz Media.