In early 2017, Microsoft added real-time traffic information on Bing Maps in 55 countries worldwide to bolster the platform's real-time and predictive route calculations. Today, the Redmond-based company is introducing a new capability to its navigation app that allows users to view real-time traffic camera images on Bing Maps along a planned route.
With the new feature, users can click on a traffic camera icon in order to see the current traffic condition in a particular area where they intend to pass. It is worth pointing out that only traffic data from a limited road stretch will be visible to users. The new feature can be accessed from within the "traffic" option of the web interface for Bing Maps.
Microsoft touts a number of benefits from the new capability. For instance, the images can inform drivers about which particular location traffic is building up and make the necessary route changes. Another use case is monitoring traffic conditions during inclement weather like heavy snowfall, wind storms, and flooding. Microsoft says the camera feed may help travelers avoid impassable areas by checking for dangerous road conditions first before setting out on a trip.
The feature also makes use of a new Bing Maps feature that was added in March, assigning specific colors to routes depending on their traffic condition. For example, orange indicates moderate traffic flow while red signifies heavy traffic.
Update: The article has been updated to make it clear that it's now possible to access traffic camera images along a planned route. The feature was first launched in 2015.