Voice-controlled navigation systems are a great invention – but only if they understand the address they ‘hear’ correctly. Today’s systems struggle with other obstacles too.

Some addresses have duplicates, others no name at all; and postal addresses for big industrial companies or shopping malls don’t always take you to the visitors’ entrance. And while geo-coordinates are more precise, they’re impossible to remember and hard to type.

The British start-up what3words has an idea that sidesteps all these pitfalls neatly. The company has created a new form of geocoding that names places clearly, and lets you share their coordinates unambiguously. Basically, what3words lays a grid of 57 billion 3 x 3 metre squares over the whole globe. Each square is given a unique three-word address that is easy to transmit – in 14 different languages. The w3w address of the Handelsblatt editorial office, for example, is ///neuerung.runde.tagtraum.

Even in the middle of nowhere, people can use the app to receive three magic words that identify their unique ‘address’ – then share it via email, SMS or phone if they wish to be picked up. Mercedes-Benz is using this 3-word method in its new navigation systems, and the Mongolian Postal Service has made it the country’s official address system.

Automotive Summit 2018 – Executive Summary

In early December 2018, over 600 automotive experts from all over the world – including manufacturers and suppliers, tech and energy companies, politicians and associations – attended the auto industry summit in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 3 – 5 December, the industry’s big hitters discussed strategies, concepts and technologies for tomorrow’s automobiles and the future course of their industry.

We’ve compiled the highlights from the Handelsblatt Auto Summit 2018 in an interactive follow-up report.