HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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Logistics 4.0

DB Schenker plans to navigate using words in future

Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Schenker is the first major logistics group to use the new global address system What3Words for navigation. It was developed by a startup from the UK.

26 Oct. 2018
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DB Schenker plans to navigate using words in future (Photo: Deutsche Bahn AG)

The name What3Words is no coincidence. The British company has rasterized the world into 57 trillion squares of 3 x 3 meters each. Each of these squares is assigned a unique address consisting of three words. They are easier to memorize than GPS coordinates and also very precise. This apparently also makes it easier to find locations lacking a postal address.

According to the newspaper "Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" (WAZ), Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Schenker is now introducing the service. With regard to trade fairs or major events, drivers would be able to transport deliveries faster and more reliably rather than looking for "Gate 3" or "Hall 7", writes the newspaper, citing company CEO Markus Sontheimer. It will now be possible for customers to book their pick-up and destination locations worldwide using the three words. These are freely chosen and have no direct connection to the location. For example, the Hannover Messe/Nord train station can be found at bremse.gewinner.anmelden . Deutsche Bahn already i nvested in the British startup back in 2017.

This raises the question about the reach of long-planned European satellite navigation system Galileo. According to Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting), it will be possible to navigate worldwide using Galileo alone from the beginning of 2019 onwards. To date this has only worked in combination with the military-controlled navigation service GPS, Glonass or Beidou. The network recently added 4 satellites and now boasts a total of 26 satellites.