I have calculated and bid on several quotes regarding different scenarios where one of the cornerstone and foundation were based on different routing algorithms, such as Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). All kinds of businesses such as transporting kids to school, service staffing serving restaurant machines, telecom service staff, elderly care and so on. The characteristic of these projects where expensive, complicated with none or small amount of guarantee that the project would succeed within budget. The organizations that demanded these functions where small- and mid-size organizations. Many of the above projects dropped due to lack of funding. I believe vendors such as Microsoft play an important role providing these kind of organizations state of the art technology to enable them to be more efficient and maybe save a bit of the environment.
From a business perspective, it is easy to find applications within business applications such as Dynamics CRM. Or why not a geo-caching app within a city in combination with gamification. Well, may be geofication - Pokemon Go have been pretty successful.
But for me, in my life may be if the project is extended to cover Europe as well, Abu Dhabi might solve another problem - my weekends. A big part of my weekends is driving family, getting things from here and there and occasionally to football- (soccer) and hockey games. In between I need to eat and sometimes have time to see my friends. Unfortunately for me, at the moment Abu Dhabi is limited to US.
After playing a couple of hours with the API I have a couple of things running. It is pretty straight forward to query the API with HTTP requests. All of these extending routing projects from Microsoft will hopefully be backed up with an API that builds up the actual requst. And also a module to handle the actual result.
More information can be found here: https://labs.cognitive.microsoft.com/en-us/Project-Abu-Dhabi/documentation