Safer desert off-roading with what3words and Gulf News’ Fun Drive

27/03/2018

Every year, more than 750 four-wheel drive cars set off into the UAE desert for a two-day off-roading adventure. In the desert, where everything looks the same, it’s hard to communicate locations or identify reference points, and GPS coordinates are hard to say over the phone. They’re also very easy to mix up, and inputting a single digit wrong can lead people miles away from their intended destination.

This year, to help participants of the hugely popular event navigate the desert, Fun Drive labeled all checkpoints with 3 word addresses. Every car received an information pack about what3words and a list of 3 word addresses.

Naheed Patel of Gulf News, who’s been running Fun Drive for over 20 years, said ‘We are always looking for ways to make Fun Drive more accessible and safer for everyone involved. By introducing what3words to label our checkpoints this year, we reduced reliance on long and complicated coordinates.’

With what3words, drivers were able to talk about precise locations with fellow participants, set up meeting points, capture their favourite desert spots, and make sure they were driving to the right checkpoint.

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