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How what3words is Benefiting the Private Hire Mini Cab Industry

There has been lots of talk around the technology known as ‘what3words’, the easy way to communicate your precise location no matter where you are in the world. Precisely how it will benefit the mini cab industry, and passengers booking a taxi, is the topic of this post.

what3words for mini cabs

The street address isn’t all that efficient. It doesn’t always lead to the right place. When picking up a passenger, taxi drivers will often see the location pin dropped in the centre of a building rather than its actual entrance or car park.

What’s the problem with the traditional street address?

Road names are regularly duplicated and easy to get mixed up. In London for example there are 14 different Church Roads. And Lorne Road and Lawn Road may sound the same, but they will be completely different addresses. What’s more, some addresses may be totally impossible to find, perhaps because they are new builds that take a considerable amount of time to appear on maps and navigation systems.

These scenarios can be particularly frustrating for private hire mini cab operators, drivers and passengers. Naturally passenger will expect drivers to locate them come what may, but in practice this is not always straightforward. This is especially so when passengers are to be picked up from precise locations where no valid address is available, such as a large venue, car park, airport, industrial estate or rural area.

How does what3words work?

That what3words system makes it possible for very specific locations such as building entrances, street corners, park gates or individual apartments in blocks to be pinpointed. It uses a three word code rather than a street address, with the address starting ///.

Every three metre square has been allocated a unique combination of words known as a what3words address. All the car parks at Gatwick Airport for example have their own unique address. For example, the Q-Park offsite car park has the address ///gets.editor.letter.

Optimised for voice input and idea for drivers using mobile devices safely, what3words incorporates integrated error prevention to identify and correct input mistakes instantly.

The system works via a free to download app for iOS and Android as well as online. It allows anyone to find, share and navigate to a what3words address in over 40 languages.

The benefits of what3words

The great thing about what3words for passengers is that it will make providing a precise location so much easier, which of course means enhanced safety, improved efficiency and less frustration. Drivers will be able to locate them without any delays.

In the UK, those who live in rural areas are finding what3words of particular benefit. Areas where postcodes cover large expanses, and where houses have names rather than numbers, will often prove difficult for passengers to explain their precise location, and for drivers to locate. For example, there are more than 8,000 Rose Cottage addresses UK wide.

The system is also useful within urban areas like London, where apartment living is common and buildings have multiple entrances. The same goes for railway stations where there are various meet points.

Organisations are actively encouraging their employees and customers to download and use the what3words app so that they are ready to provide their precise location in the case of an emergency, and to enhance their safety when ordering a taxi.

Looking for a safe and efficient what3words friendly taxi service? Book a ride with ZedCarz.


Private Minicab/TaxiAt ZedCarz, our executive private hire service is powered by Cordic, which has incorporated what3words into its navigation technology. To obtain your unique what3words address, use the app, or the search tool on the what3words website. Then you can simply enter the three word address when booking your ride using the ZedCarz app, or quote it to our operator when booking by phone.