Driving the future with what3words and Next Future Transportation

The journeys of tomorrow will be made in self-driving taxis, buses and shuttles. Next Future Transportation is leading the way today, with their development of smart, autonomous modules. what3words has partnered with Next, to provide the precise 3 word addresses required for accurate collection and delivery points.

Next generation travel

Next is a unique modular transportation solution, designed to move people and goods as effectively and efficiently as possible. The hyper-green electric modules can fit ten people in the same space as a single Smart car. Modules link and detach to each other on the move, allowing passengers to be picked up on demand and dropped off at different locations.

Custom modules can also be combined to provide food, drink and office services on-the-go. When connected, they create an open, bus-like area, allowing passengers to stand and walk from one module to another, as well as transfer between zones before detaching and continuing their journey.

Pinpoint, not pin drop

Autonomous vehicles require pinpoint accuracy to determine their location and route on the road. Current street addressing systems simply don’t offer that degree of precision. A pin dropped on a map through a traditional address search will typically identify the centre of a building or postcode, when the vehicle needs the location of a building entrance point or, better still, an exact kerbside or parking spot at the front.

In rapidly developing cities like Dubai, street signs and address databases are also struggling to keep pace with growth. Driverless vehicles simply cannot operate with poor, complex or missing addresses because there is no driver to phone if the car arrives at the wrong place.

3 words to request a ride

This location challenge is precisely why Next has formed a partnership with what3words. The global addressing system can specify a unique 3m x 3m square, anywhere in the world, with a simple 3 word address.

With what3words, Next travellers will be able to enter their 3 word address for destination or pick up, via text entry or voice command. 3 word addresses are memorable and simple to use, as well as being easy to share between people or enter into an app.

For example, a Next module could collect a passenger from the left hand side of the mall entrance of the Emirates Towers Hotel at ///gala.internet.rehearsal and take them to the best surfing spot on the south west corner of Kite Beach at ///glowing.inventions.extra

“The what3words system is fundamental for driverless cars to be a success”, said Emmanuele Spera, CEO and co-founder of Next. “You can’t call a driverless car and explain where the precise entrance to your apartment block is. what3words is a next-generation addressing system that solves this problem”.

A road map for the future

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem, the multinational transportation network company, have signed a deal to use Next’s self-driving electric pods. The project has been part of Dubai Future Accelerators, a government-supported accelerator programme established to develop a futuristic road map for key sectors of the Government of Dubai.

HH Sheikh Mohammed, the Ruler of Dubai, has also committed to making 25 per cent of all transportation trips smart and driverless by 2030. Testing of full Next prototypes in specific areas is expected to begin in 2017.

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