Confused delivery drivers add time, cost, and frustration to deliveries. Much of this confusion comes from addresses and entrances not matching up exactly. Tech companies want to close the data gap between an address and a completed delivery.
From accurate point-to-point navigation, finding unaddressed locations, assisting emergency and humanitarian organizations to help people in their everyday life to more accessible and more accurately find what they are looking for – be it a thing, person, or place.
“A typical driver might spend 10 minutes driving around an unfamiliar apartment complex, trying to find the right building and then the exact unit number, wasting time, fuel, and patience,” said Evan Robinson, vice president of engineering of last-mile delivery startup AxleHire in a statement announcing a partnership with what3words — one of a handful of tech firms attempting to disrupt the address. With what3words, the driver can see the exact 10ft square they need to go to, allowing them to find the right building and unit much more seamlessly. In addition, with home delivery, the driver can see where the customer wants their package left.
Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words enables people to accurately find and share any precise location with anyone using just three words. The system covers the entire world, never needs updating, and works offline. A what3words address is a human-friendly way to share precise locations with others or input them into platforms and machines such as ride-hailing apps or e-commerce checkouts. It is optimized for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to identify and correct input mistakes immediately. Recipients enter their street address when they make the initial purchase and then see a question asking them to specify a grid square. Then what3words generates the code for Axelhire to use for delivery.
Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, has invested close to GBP 12 million in location technology what3words in 2021. The investment will be used to launch the company in new international markets while continuing to develop partners within the e-commerce and logistics sectors.
Beans.ai is another company looking to reduce wasted time and emissions with more precise address data. The Beans team has been building a massive database of valid address data for five years by paying gig economy drivers already delivering food to record the exact steps needed to reach an address and a doorstep.
Gupta said to Business Inside the average user saves three-and-a-half minutes per delivery. That may not sound like a lot of value for consumers. Still, it’s essentially $1 of labor per delivery saved for logistics companies. Moreover, it could mean a lot to the last few deliveries on a route, which are easily bumped to the next day when time is wasted wandering around vast apartment complexes.
TomTom Mapcode is a global grid system developed by TomTom, a leading provider of digital mapping services. Mapcode provides a simple and standardized way of expressing a location, making it easy to share and search for any place on Earth. Each Mapcode consists of a two-part code of four or more characters and two digits, separated by a dot. For example, the Mapcode for the Eiffel Tower in Paris is 8FR.RX.G6H. TomTom also partnered with what3words in 2018, which will integrate the platform with TomTom’s consumer and business products.