Google Maps estimated driving time, accurate?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yg17, May 3, 2009.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #1
    I'm possibly making a road trip out to Washington DC and then Philadelphia (more like Philadelphia-ish, I think they're out in the suburbs) to visit some family and friends and I'm trying to get a ballpark idea of how long the drive would be, since I would be on my own and wouldn't be able to share the driving with anyone. Google Maps says that it's 13 hours and 40 minutes from here to DC, based on your experiences, are Google's estimates high, low or just about right? Obviously, I mean your experiences in general for any road trip, not STL-DC (although if you've done that drive, input would be appreciated!) I know it depends on how often you stop, but I would be able to make my stops few and quick. My car can go almost 400 miles on a tank of gas and I can wolf down a crappy fast food meal in a couple minutes :D

    And yes, I know flying is cheaper, quicker, and better in every way and somewhere in the middle of Ohio I'm probably going to say to myself "Dammit, I should've flown" but I need a quiet, relaxing drive for a change.
     
  2. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #2
    I use a Google Maps almost daily. For interstate times it is fairly accurate if you can skip peak traffic times. For US/State highways your drive times will be shorter, at least they are for me and I'm in a slow truck.
     
  3. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #3
    Most cases for me the estimate has been longer. Driving is more fun I think. You get to see things you'd never see in a plane, and you have full control over when and where you want to stop.

    If you get GPS, those things are spot on with timing (from my experience).
     
  4. yg17 thread starter macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4

    Thanks. Yes, I have a Garmin nuvi GPS, I may have to punch in DC and see what it estimates as my arrival time.
     
  5. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #5
    I know whenever I use Google Maps, I'll usually add anywhere from 10-20% to the drive time just to be sure I get there on time.
     
  6. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Generally because they continually recalculate the finishing time based on what you do. They are rarely accurate at the very top of the trip. But yeah, you will always pull into your destination at the exact minute the GPS says you will.

    As for Google Maps, I have found it generally pretty accurate...although I never do 14-hour drives.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    My experience is that interstate trips are reasonably accurate (for driving time, not including stops). In-city trips, I think the times are on the optimistic side -- the with-traffic times tend to be short by 10-20% as someone mentioned above. But I'd also assume that there's some 5-10% minimum uncertainty in the time, which scales up -- so I'd (personally) assume that, if I were quoted a time of 13 hours, the reality might be +/- 45-90 minutes because of construction, driving conditions, weather, etc....
     
  8. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    #8
    I've driven over 130k miles over the last 11 months and Google Maps is the only mapping software I use. When I take the non-interstate times a face value I usually end up at my customer early unless there is bad weather or traffic.
     

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