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‘Cabbie… drop me off at seat former eagles’: what3words reviews progress in the UK taxi industry

Updated: Feb 17, 2023


Image credit: what3words

what3words has taken the taxi world by storm, and today hundreds of operators have adopted the innovative tech via a range of enabled dispatching softwares.

A common barrier prohibiting seamless journeys in the taxi and private hire industry is the challenge of communicating precise pick up or drop off locations. Street addresses often won’t guide drivers to the exact desired destination and postcodes can cover large areas, posing a challenge to drivers who may not be familiar with the area.

what3words solves these problems, providing a simple way to communicate very precise locations. It has divided the world into a grid of 3 metre squares, and each square has been given a unique combination of 3 random words – a what3words address. For example, ///juices.tribe.heap is the what3words address for one of the step-free, accessible ramp entrances at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

what3words is useful in a wide range of scenarios, from locating accessible and side entrances, to communicating locations with no street addresses at all such as beaches or sports fields. Precise location information enables swift pick-ups and drop-offs and improves customers’ booking and riding experience.

In 2021, what3words won Newcomer of the Year at the Taxi Summit Awards. They were proud to be endorsed again in 2022 as Innovation of the Year, for the impact what3words is having on driver efficiency and customer satisfaction. 2023 is shaping up to be another great year, you can check out some of their latest highlights below.

Software-maker Cab9 made what3words available to all its customers

Cab9 has expanded its partnership with what3words by making the technology available to all of its operators with web-booker and app integrations.

Tarpit Grover, Managing Director at Cab9, said: "We are thrilled to announce our integration with what3words, a cutting-edge location technology, which is revolutionising the way our customers and their passengers find their addresses. With this integration across the board, Cab9 provides a seamless and accurate pick-up experience, reducing the frustration of trying to describe a location to drivers. The potential of this integration is immense and we are excited to bring this level of convenience and efficiency to our customers."

One of the UK’s largest fleets, Blueline, went live with what3words

The Cab9 customer took immediate advantage of the software’s new feature and launched what3words in its app and web-booker. It also accepts what3words addresses given over the phone for pick-up and drop-off locations.

Tom Shanks, CFO at Blueline, said: "We’re really excited to start working with what3words. Using their technology, our passengers will now be able to use this quick and simple way to specify a precise location with a 3 word address – they can find out their own location or identify ambiguously addressed pick-up points and share them with our call handlers in order to be picked up as efficiently and safely as possible!"

OUNO has added what3words to its app

The world’s first ‘invite-only’ executive riding platform accepts what3words addresses for pick-up and drop-off locations. "As a forward thinking, innovative brand, OUNO prides itself on partnering with like-minded companies. what3words is going to be a huge part of the industry’s future and we are over the moon to be working with them," said Bobby Drewett, Co-founder, Ouno.

What’s next for what3words?

Increasing numbers of software dispatch systems are integrating what3words, so their customers can offer what3words location input to riders for smoother pick-ups and drop-offs. They believe that the more operators they bring on board, the more drivers and passengers can enjoy smooth, safe and efficient journeys.

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