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An Insight into the Tech That Will Help Autonomous Vehicles Become Better Chauffeurs

A new way of inputting addresses and dash cams may be the answer to a better autonomous vehicle experience.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are part of an interesting and prevalent conversation around the future of driving.

Companies such as what3words, and Nexar are a big part of creating a great autonomous vehicle experience in the future.

At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in Berlin, Clare Jones from what3words, and Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz from Nexar took to the stage to discuss their companies' input in the AV world.

RELATED: A 3-WORD ADDRESS: GEO-CODING THE WORLD WITH JUST THREE WORDS

How can these two companies help AVs become better chauffeurs?

What3words enables extremely exact GPS location through voice recognition and by simply using three words. The company has assigned each 3m square in the world with a unique three-word address. It revolutionizes GPS tracking.

An Insight into the Tech That Will Help Autonomous Vehicles Become Better Chauffeurs
Clare Jones (what3words) and Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz (Nexar), Source: Fabienne Lang/Interesting Engineering

This type of address input is perfect for deliveries, emergencies, and taxis at the moment.

Nexar, on the other hand, creates a connection for vehicles. The company has created a dash cam, a vehicle sensor in a car, which it believes AVs will need in the future. 

How do both of these companies' tech fit into the future of AVs?

The biggest competitor for what3words is the plain old regular address. For the company, their biggest challenge is getting people to be on board with a different method of inputting an address. It takes a shift in behavior.

An Insight into the Tech That Will Help Autonomous Vehicles Become Better Chauffeurs
Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz at TechCrunch Disrupt, Source: Fabienne Lang/Interesting Engineering

When it comes to AVs there's a greater pain point because you can't describe what you're wearing if you're being picked up, so your pick up point has to be 100% correct when a robot driving a car is picking you up.

So it's, in fact, easier with what3words as all you have to say is 'apple, banana, spoon' (the three words assigned to a specific 3m square) and the robot will know exactly where to go. 

As for Nexar, it doesn't make much of a difference whether its a robot-driven car or a human one. However, a robot can be more predictable, faster, and doesn't get distracted.

An Insight into the Tech That Will Help Autonomous Vehicles Become Better Chauffeurs
Clare Jones at TechCrunch Disrupt, Source: Fabienne Lang/Interesting Engineering

At the moment, Nexar is mostly being used in the U.S., and what3words is mostly being used in ride-hailing apps.

There's a lot of potential for excellent chauffeur service in AVs thanks to these two companies.

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