Ford partners with geocoding firm to offer enhanced navigation

The automaker will offer drivers access to what3words’ voice-controlled addressing app via its SYNC 3 infotainment platform.

Global automotive giant, Ford Motor Co. has recently collaborated with London-based geocoding startup what3words to offer drivers access to the firm’s novel addressing system. Sources close to the move state that drivers, following the partnership, will be able to connect to what3words’ free iOS or Android app via Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment platform allowing them to search for addresses through voice or text input and receive accurate directions.

According to VentureBeat, Chris Sheldrick, CEO, what3words, said that their firm’s partnership with Ford will solve common driving issues by offering precise navigation by voice to reach accurate destinations. He said that what3words aims to help users talk their way to a destination and is delighted to bring its technology to the Ford community.

Founded in 2013, what3words has raised around $50 million since its inception and has effectively segregated the entire planet into 57 trillion 3-by-3-meter squares and later assigned each one with three letter words. Moreover, the startup’s app, available in 26 languages, has been adopted by several users in the logistics, automotive, travel and humanitarian organizations due to its precise locations offering anywhere around the world.

Sources cite that the system is currently being used by Lonely Planet, which has introduced three-word addresses for each of its listings, as well as by ride-hailing app Cabify, Mercedes-Benz, the UN, TomTom and Red Cross.

Reportedly, the startup has also attracted several investors, with a recent investment from Sony’s venture capital arm. Moreover, in 2018, Daimler purchased a 10% stake in what3words following an announcement in 2017 to integrate the firm’s addressing platform into Mercedes’ new navigation and infotainment system called MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), which currently is being used in the latest Mercedes A-Class, B-Class and Sprinter commercial vehicles.

Reliable sources suggest that Ford will initially offer the what3words platform to owners in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Germany, Mexico and the U.S., while more markets and languages will be added to the app later this year. Users can also download the addressing app for free on iOS and Android, add sources.