Microsoft adds travel time, mileage and a map for driving directions in Bing

After adding a scientific calculator and an image match feature in Bing, Microsoft has now put in another option in its search service that rival Google has had for years. US users can now bring up an estimate of the driving travel time and mileage between two destinations when they are typed into Bing.

Microsoft described the new feature in a blog post. Basically, typing in "Los Angeles to San Diego" in Bing will now let the user know that it will take approximately one hour and 46 minutes to make the trip by car, and that the distance between the two cities is about 120.8 miles. Typing in specific addresses will offer more accurate time and distance numbers. It also shows a map with the correct route.

The blog adds:

When you click on the map or the “turn by turn directions” link, we’ll launch the Bing Maps experience where you will see a detailed set of turn-by-turn directions. Because we know directions are most useful when you’re on the go, we’ve enabled this mobile browser experience across the top smart phones including Windows Phone, iPhone and Android devices.

This shows that Microsoft's Bing team has been trying of late to add features that Google has included for a while. There's no word on when this driving directions feature will be included outside the US.

Source: Bing blog | Image via Microsoft

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32 Comments

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Cosmocronos said,
Something is wrong with the article: I have had both distances and required time for years.

In the US though, not sure if other Countries have features parity.

Yeah the article is poorly written. Bing has always had this feature. The only new thing is making a snapshot instantly show from the main search bar (instead of having to go into the "Maps" tab).

Umm... okay so launching a newly revamped Bing Maps Beta app , investing in Foursquare to provide more local data and having Nokia HERE power the mapping data is abandoning. Looks to me they are growing.

I don't understand....I thought bing always had this from the start?
I use bing directions frequently and I've always seen these things.

Bing directions in their maps has long been there. This is new in terms of you can just state "how far from seattle to los angeles" in the web search bar, and it will show you travel time/directions ect.

Bing has always had this feature. The only new thing is making this cool snapshot accessible instantly from the main search bar (instead of having to go into the "Maps" tab).

There's no way that they just added travel time and mileage. Without those two things, Maps would have been completely useless.

I looks like turn-by-turn was added, and that's it.

Astra.Xtreme said,
There's no way that they just added travel time and mileage. Without those two things, Maps would have been completely useless.

I looks like turn-by-turn was added, and that's it.

That's what I thought.

Astra.Xtreme said,
There's no way that they just added travel time and mileage. Without those two things, Maps would have been completely useless.

I looks like turn-by-turn was added, and that's it.

Indeed - travel time (including estimates based on current traffic) and mileage have been available in Bing Maps for as long as I can remember (here in the UK at least)

Bing has always had this feature. The only new thing is making accessible instantly from the main search bar (instead of having to go into the "Maps" tab).

Bleedorang3 said,
Ugh, Bing uses the worst fonts. That screenshot looks terrible.

Maybe because it is resampled and not a pixel to pixel representation of what users see.

PS Have you looked at the fonts on Google recently? They are out of the common set from the 1990s that worked well on low resolution SVGA screens.

VictorWho said,
Seriously,....just now that Bing Maps has this feature?

No, just now they expanded how it appears in the general Bing Search results. (RTA)

(Microsoft was doing navigation and mapping before Google existed.)

I just wished bing maps worked better it is far behind google maps in terms of user interface.

Google at least in the US you can put the name of the place and it will know you want the closest one. With bing it will give you options, why wouldnt you want the closest one? Also if you don't have the street address it is much harder to get good directions on bing.

Yet another Bing update that is US-only.

I'm sorry but if Microsoft wants Bing to be a credible service for search and maps, it needs to start acting like a global company. No-one uses Bing outside the US because it is frankly quite terrible and poorly localised - all of the innovative features are not available either.

Satya Nadella needs to end this predisposition to US-only releases. The default position should be global or major-market releases.

RCandelori said,
Yet another Bing update that is US-only.

I'm sorry but if Microsoft wants Bing to be a credible service for search and maps, it needs to start acting like a global company. No-one uses Bing outside the US because it is frankly quite terrible and poorly localised - all of the innovative features are not available either.

Satya Nadella needs to end this predisposition to US-only releases. The default position should be global or major-market releases.

Where do you think this line should be established?

Should Microsoft just delay the US release of everything if it can't be made immediately available around the world?

I agree that Microsoft needs to step up features for Bing in other countries, but I also have seen them doing this, even though it is not as fast as the releases in the US.

Even Bing just six months ago was kind of trash in a couple of countries I am familiar with, but today is on par with the US version, even besting Google on local cultural references that Google doesn't always do well.

The bottom line is that a lot of things are easier to release in the US because of legal restrictions, technology, infrastructure, and it is also Microsoft's home turf.

So things are usually going to be released in the US first; however, instead of feeling cheated, think of the US users being the beta testers for a great new feature you will see soon.

RCandelori said,
I'm sorry but if Microsoft wants Bing to be a credible service for search and maps, it needs to start acting like a global company.
True dat.

This is entirely new, or the addition of the turn-by-turn is new? I thought it always had time & mileage. I know I've been clicking a "time based on traffic" button for years.

Bing has always had this. The article is poorly written, they simply added this new cool 'snapshot' feature to the main Bing bar. So instead of having to go into the Maps tab, it instantly gives you this cool snapshot.

DConnell said,
Microsoft TARDIS, a product of their new partnership with the BBC . . .
Microsoft's tardy in implementing Bing features? You got that right! :laugh: