Jaguar Land Rover rolls out What3words geocoding technology to vehicles already on the road – Vidak For Congress

Jaguar Land Rover rolls out What3words geocoding technology to vehicles already on the road – Vidak For Congress 1

Jaguar Land Rover is the latest automaker to integrate geocoding company what3words into its cars and SUVs.

JLR said Thursday it will integrate both its new and used vehicles with the voice-activated what3words system, which divides the world into a grid to give each 100 square meter area an address of three random words. The rollout means that an estimated 350,000 vehicles will have the system. Drivers can use the system to navigate to any exact location worldwide, even without a data connection.

Navigation systems are becoming a key differentiator for auto companies as they focus on screen size and digital features rather than the hardware under the hood. At least eight automakers, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Lamborghini, have integrated what3words technology into their vehicles so far this year.

JLR is the first to deliver it to vehicles already on the road via an over-the-air update. The rollout with JLR is through a partnership between what3words and Here Technologies. In 2020, the two companies teamed up to allow OEMs using Here’s navigation platform to include what3words as an in-car navigation feature directly through the Here Search API.

The announcement is the latest example of how in-vehicle infotainment systems have become the battleground for tech companies.

Apple on Monday announced updates to its next-generation CarPlay system, which will power the entire instrument panel of the vehicle. The displays go beyond navigation and infotainment functions to provide information about vehicle speed, climate control and other diagnostics. Last month, Google announced upgrades to Android Auto to enable larger screens by allowing split screens.

What3words assigns a unique three-word combination to 57 trillion 10-by-10-foot squares of the Earth. It is more accurate than traditional speech-based navigation systems, which tend to list the most likely matches rather than a precise destination.

For example, a driver going to 23 Park Avenue in New York might say, “Take me to sugar.laptop.sheep,” which allows the system to bypass the other 450 streets named “Park” in New York.

However, security researchers are concerned about the system’s reliability and note that the voice commands could redirect the system to another location where the three words sound the same.

What3words and other advanced navigation systems also serve as a stepping stone for any self-driving cars to navigate to precisely pre-programmed destinations. HERE’s end-to-end system provides real-time traffic data, turn-by-turn guidance and information about finding on-street and off-street parking.

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