New Mercedes Navigation Can Get You Anywhere With Just Three Words


What is the three-word combination for you favorite destination?

Entering a destination into the car's navigation system using voice commands can be frustrating. You scream at the system "enter an address!" and the system (more often that not) responds "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that." Some of these systems are better than others, but voice command in cars desperately needs to be updated. Apple Car Play and Android Auto help improve the issue, but Mercedes has just announced a partnership with a company called What3words that aims to make voice commands simple.

What3words divides the entire map into small, 3m by 3m squares that each receive a unique three-word combination. This system will launch next year on Mercedes cars and was shown off at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show.

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We wanted to test out the system by going on the company's map website that shows the three-word combination for any address. For example, our favorite driving road in California, the Angeles Crest Highway, has the combination "fizzle, defending, disappearing." If we fancied a fun drive around the Angeles Crest, we'd simply tell the navigation "Navigate to what3words, fizzle, defending, disappearing" and the car would take us to our destination. We also looked up Disney World in Orlando, Florida, which was "surprise, revelations, evaluates" and Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (home of this year's Superbowl) which was "talked, earth, posed."

We had fun looking up different addresses on the system, and we look forward to trying it out for real on a new Mercedes car. The benefit of this system is that it can be far more precise than a simple street address. The three-word addresses can be as specific as a parking spot or area of a beach that doesn't have its own unique address on a normal navigation system. If, for example you are meeting friends, you can tell them the exact three-word combination for where you are standing. We are excited to see if What3words can finally make in-car voice command a usable feature.